Trump’s Trans Erasure is Worse Than We Thought

Earlier this week, Donald Trump announced that he wants gender to be defined as something that matches one's birth genitalia, effectively erasing trans, nonbinary, and intersex identity at the federal level. Many people are rightfully protesting this as it is a clear violation of LGBT rights and is also scientifically inaccurate and misleading. According to The Guardian, Trump's administration wants to take this erasure a step further an extend it globally.

In meetings with the UN's Third Committee, a branch of the UN that focuses on "social, humanitarian, and cultural" rights, US officials have pushed to rewrite general assembly policy statements in a way that would remove "vague" terminology that supposedly supports an "ideology" that treats gender is a choice (although I doubt that that's what the documents imply) rather than something that's fixed from birth and an unchangeable fact. An example of this would be removing the term "gender-based violence" and replacing it with "violence against women." This, of course, ignores the fact that sex≠gender.

A UN diplomat noted that the US policy regarding gender has not been consistent, which may indicate an inconsistency within the members of the US mission as to their understanding of sex and gender. Many countries that do separate sex and gender are generally left-leaning, so if the US mission wants this change in documents to succeed, they would need to ask for the support of more conservative countries, such as Russia and Islamic states and counter the United State's western European allies. This is hardly surprising.

Recently, the state department changed the gender designation page when applying or renewing passports to "change of sex marker" which means that if a transgender person wishes to alter their passport to fit their gender identity, they have to have already transitioned from male to female and vice versa or be in the process of transitioning. There are huge problems with this. One: the state department conflates sex and gender, and two: not every trans person wants or can afford to transition, so their passports will be incorrect because the Trump administration thinks that sex is the same as gender. 

This administration seems determined to erase trans and nonbinary identities, but hopefully the scientific community will prevail and say that sex and gender are not in fact the same thing and should be separate and that gender is not determined by what someone has between their legs. If Trump's administration gets their way, a Pandora's box of anti-trans and anti-LGBTQ discrimination may open, causing the advances of LGBTQ rights to regress.


h/t: The Guardian, Travel.State.Gov

What do you think?