Gender is a complex and deeply personal matter related to a person’s own understanding of identity and how they choose to express themselves.
On October 21st, Americans learned that the Trump administration is using the Department of Health and Human Services to lead an effort to redefine the definition of gender under Title IX as a person’s biological sex as it was assigned at birth. This move would be a cruel and unnecessary affront to trans people, laced with bigotry and intolerance.
These actions are a part of the Trump administration’s crusade to erase trans and non-binary people from society and render them invisible. It would require the Departments of Education, Justice, and Labor to adopt the new definition of gender in all their policies and regulations.
This Tuesday, October 30th, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors approved a motion to send a five-signature letter on behalf of LA County to Alex M. Azar II, the US Secretary of Health and Human Services, unequivocally condemning the Trump administration’s proposed gender policy change.
The Obama administration made significant strides in expanding rights and protections for trans and non-binary individuals by acknowledging gender as a complex and deeply personal matter related to one’s own understanding of their identity and how they choose to be in the world.
Trump’s actions would undo much of that progress and deny the humanity of trans people — invalidating their experiences, truths, and autonomy. People who identify as transgender, non-binary, or gender non-conforming already face grossly disproportionate levels of discrimination, marginalization, and violence. Trump’s malicious actions would only exacerbate this reality.
“The federal government has no business dictating the parameters of our personal lives and telling us how we should define ourselves. Gender is personal, expressive, and more than just biology. Each one of us is the sole gatekeeper to our distinctive definition of self. We each may say just who we are and do not need Donald Trump’s approval on acceptable forms of gender identity,” said Supervisor Sheila Kuehl, author of the motion.