Opinion: Trump’s Definition of Gender Violates Transgender Rights

Duyen To, Associate Editor

Many Americans have been outraged by the Donald Trump Administration for many reasons; however, it was reported last month that the Administration is reportedly now considering whether or not to officially give gender a federal definition, sparking a new round of controversy. If the Administration does plan on going through narrowly defining gender as something determined by genitalia at birth, laws that are meant to protect transgender people would ending up violating their civil rights.  

This definition is especially relevant in federal laws like Title IX, which states: “No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.”

Title IX does not specify protection in its wording for transgender students, but if this law focuses on the equality all students, regardless of gender, it would also naturally apply to transgender students. Exclusion from this law is not only unfair; it is unconstitutional. The law states that no person in the United States shall be excluded, on the basis of sex; therefore, restricting rights from a transgender person would violate this Title IX.

Because Norristown Area School District receives federal financial assistance, it is held to Title IX protections. The Students should feel welcomed in an environment that will educate them on becoming the future. If the Trump Administration threatens to define gender as determined through genitalia, transgender students could feel troubled, unwelcomed, and outright isolated from their fellow peers. For example, when a transgender woman uses the women’s restroom, she should have the right to do so without worrying that her comfort and welcome does not violate the law.

This could also directly impact the Norristown sports program because if a transgender person decides to sign up for a sport, they would play for the team of their actual gender, not that of their genitalia. Articles such as this one from excellsports.com titled, “Do trans athletes have an unfair advantage in sports?” brings up an issue that transgender athletes might face when doing athletic activities. In the article, the issue of having an unfair advantage is exemplified with transgender female athletes who, despite having hormonal changes, could still have an unfair advantage over biological women, strength wise. Strong people in sports will always have an advantage over those who are not of that athletic level, regardless of their gender. Although the article states that there is still not enough evidence that proves the advantages of transgender people anyway, Trump’s definition will only lead people to believe that those in sports who are transgender will always have an advantage, and their achievements will be questioned.

The government definition of gender would also impact healthcare laws. Creating equality for all genders, there is healthcare for the two, but for a transgender person, this healthcare law would be applied differently. If a transgender person were to apply for healthcare of their sex assigned at birth, problems would arise. As a male, you cannot get the same healthcare treatment as women and vise versa. Transgender people would have to apply for healthcare that is of concern with their genitalia; sadly they cannot go against this.

Donald Trump stated that, “They have a lot of different things happening with respect to transgender right now — you know that as well as I do — and we’re looking at it very seriously.” Trump also added, “I’m protecting everybody,” leaving the controversial issue unclear.

Trump has still not clarified on how he is “protecting everyone,” but I know this is not the case. It would be better if the President takes responsibility for his promises. If the President is really protecting everybody, he should disregard defining the definition of gender as well as treat people of the the LGBTQ community fairly and equally.

To many, Trump is seen as a celebrity, and his words have impact on his followers. If a president persuades a person, someone who does not know whether to side with transgender people’s rights or agree with giving a definite definition for gender, that person might be lead down the wrong path, that person will go and believe everything the president does and says is correct, not thinking about the problem nor think for themselves,

Many people of the LGBTQ community took to social media after articles on this issue had been published. The community posted photographs of themselves alongside the hashtag #WontBeErased. This movement has shown the outrage of transgender people as well as supporters.

The Administration should not be defining gender in a way that just oppresses a group of people. Even aside from the fact ath the government is meddling with citizens’ rights, the influence the President has over the people will lead many to believe that there is no such thing as being transgender, only the gender that was assigned to a person at birth. This fight for justice will only prevail longer; unless those with closed minds decide to put away their prejudices and accept people, equality for transgender people will never be met.