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Dr. Lisa Hager
Trump’s Proposal to Define Gender as Biological
As many people know, the LGBTQ community continues to fight for freedom and
equality every day, and we keep getting closer, but not close enough. Many people gather for
protests, rallies, and conventions to spread awareness and fight for basic human rights. Recently,
the Trump Administration came up with the idea to erase all transgender and gender nonconforming
people. The Administration proposed that gender should be defined as “a biological,
immutable condition determined by genitalia at birth.” This proposal further shows that this
world is full of judgement, cis-gender privilege, and inequality among human beings. This topic
has raised concern for all LGBTQ+ members, creating plenty of fear among the community. The
least we can do is spread awareness about this issue, because spreading awareness will
potentially help the situation. This will help others understand basic human rights and why
everyone should have them, as well as what LGBTQ+ people go through every day of their life.
Trump’s idea to define gender as strictly male or female, and unchangeable over time
would “erase” transgender and gender non-conforming people; the scope of this proposal
remains unclear. To be transgender is when, “Some people move away from their birth-assigned
gender because they feel strongly that they properly belong to another gender in which would be
better for them to live…still others simply feel the need to get away from the conventional
expectations bound up with the gender that was initially put upon them.” (Stryker 1) To be
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transgender, doesn’t mean you want to be someone else, it’s who you feel like you are. In other
words, someone does not choose to be transgender, they were just born like that. So, if this
proposal gets put into place, I believe that transgender and gender non-conforming people will be
heartbroken, devastated, and feel betrayed by our own government and President. This new
definition would cause rage, uproar, and disappointment because this will “erase” a part of our
own kind, human beings. This will harm transgender and gender non-conforming people in many
ways. Such as, they will most likely not have any rights because they technically won’t even
exist, they will also continue to get discriminated against more than ever which also leads to
violence, homelessness, and in many cases, death. This will also cause transgender and gender
non-conforming people to feel depressed, invisible, unimportant, helpless, and many other
How can a President, like Trump, have a say in what the word gender means? Who is he
to say what the definition of gender is or not? He obviously seems very uneducated about
LGBTQ people and doesn’t know what he’s talking about referring to gender in this world.
Although, it is important to recognize that there are policies and court decisions that will
continue to protect and recognize transgender people at a federal level. So, the community
shouldn’t be too worried about this proposal, but should still be aware and continue to fight for
freedom and equality. Whether this proposal is set in stone or not, people will need to speak out
for themselves and other by sharing stories, protesting, and having rallies. The more this issue is
talked about, shared, and explained, the more it will be heard and hopefully understood.
Ever since this proposal was first mentioned, it was all over the media. Members and
allies of the LGBTQ community were all over snapchat talking about it. They began having
rallies, protesting, and conducting speeches to educate and speak up for one another. Many
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people conversed about this issue on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and many other social media
sites, to spread awareness about what Trump is trying to do to this world and the people in it.
Someone even created the hashtag: #WontBeErased because transgender and gender nonconforming
people refuse to be erased and invisible. They are human beings too and they
deserve to be treated just the same as any and everyone else. People also talk about and share
horrific stories that transgender people have already gone through in the past and emphasize
what will or could happen in the future if this proposal passes. Overall, this community continues
to fight for basic human rights and equality, no matter what happens in the world. When can the
fighting and inequality end?
This proposal is important to both LGBTQ+ people and non-LGBTQ+ people for various
reasons. For LGBTQ+ people, this is important because this is their community that is constantly
battling for freedom and basic rights and treatment, and if this goes into place, that means they
are going to have to fight that much harder. Because usually when something is set in stone by
the President, people tend to follow the way and go with what the President says. This especially
matters to transgender women, because they have nonstop been harassed for not being “true
women” forever now. There have been so many deaths of transgender women due to violence
and lack of knowledge about the LGBTQ+ community. We all need to fight for these rights and
freedom because, “No qualifications should be placed on the term “trans women” based on a
person’s ability to “pass” as female, her hormone levels, or the state of her genitals; after all, it is
downright sexist to reduce any woman (trans or otherwise) down to her mere body parts or to
require her to live up to certain societally dictated ideals regarding appearance.” (Serano 11) This
is important because why should any women get treated differently then another? This is relevant
to why all humans are not treated equally. And for non-LGBTQ+ people, this is important for
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everyone to understand and know about because this is happening in our country, in our
backyard. We all need to stick together so this world can be a better place, and that should start
with everyone having the same rights. Whether someone is black, Asian, obese, ill, or
handicapped, we all deserve equal treatment and rights because we are all here on this Earth for
the same reason.
Unfortunately, there is mainly just LGBTQ+ people talking about this proposal and what
everyone should do about it or how to help the problem. There are a select few who are not
LGBTQ+ but are allies with the community, trying to help fight for their freedom and rights. All
people, LGBTQ+ or not, should be involved with this issue because, I don’t know someone who
would be in favor of this proposal. The idea that gender is unchangeable over time is insane. The
world and every living being in it, constantly evolves and changes over time, so why wouldn’t
something like gender change as well? This is all important for the sake of humanity, why should
someone be denied rights or treated horribly compared to someone “different”? I think it’s time
for this world to have a serious reality check and fix these problems in the world.
The discourse around this issue is intersectional in many ways. It’s intersectional because
this issue is related to human rights in general and can relate to all human rights issues in the
past, such as racist attacks, segregation, slavery, and rights for any colored person that is not
white. People of color go through these same kinds of issues, with getting treated violently or not
receiving basic human rights or respect. This also relates to immigration, women’s rights, and
struggles being able to fight for our country based on, who you are. This also relates to not only
transgender and gender non-conforming people, but it includes all members of the LGBTQ+
community because they also go through similar struggles throughout life, whether it’s the
struggle to be accepted or the struggle to fight for equality amongst humanity and everyone in it.
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This issue also mobilizes privilege to be binary, American, and “normal”. If you are not white,
straight, binary, and seen as normal and accepted, you will get treated different, no matter what.
You will get treated differently by your family, friends, co-workers, boss, classmate, or anyone!
Overall, Trump’s proposal caused much concern for both LGBTQ+ people and their
allies. Trump will need to reevaluate his proposal or risk getting into more trouble with the
public, with his inhumane and rude acts or comments. The LGBTQ+ community is on the
lookout, and will always be because they have no choice, in a world we live in. These people
continue to fight every single day, for basic human rights. The fact that people need to fight for
basic rights and freedom is beyond me, because what was the point of the Civil Rights
Movement if not everyone gets those rights?
Stryker, Susan. “An Introduction to Transgender Terms and Concepts.” Transgender
History. Berkeley: Seal Press, 2008. 1-29. Print.
Serano, Julia. Whipping Girl: A Transsexual Woman on Sexism and the Scapegoating of
Femininity. Seal Press, 2007.
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