“If you’re not outraged, you’re not paying attention.” —Anonymous
I add an important amendment to the above quote with the addition “…or you’re not capable of empathy,” which certainly holds true in the case of Donald J. Trump.
Jaimie Lee Wounded Arrow, 28, Sioux Fall, SD, January 1, 2017
Since taking office, the Trump administration has declared war on the transgender community.
Mesha Caldwell, 41, Canton, MS, January 4, 2017
In a memo sent from his Department of “Justice” to US attorneys, department heads, and federal agencies, Trump’s Attorney General, Jefferson Beauregard Sessions, reversed an Obama-era policy that protected trans employees from discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Session made clear that his department would no longer interpret gender protections in Title VII to include gender identity and expression.
Sean Hake, Sharon, PA, January 6, 2017
Since Trump’s inauguration, he abolished an Obama-era executive order permitting transgender students to use school facilities most closely aligning with their gender identities, and the White House website has removed reference to LGBT issues and policies from the previous administration.
Jojo Striker, 23, Toledo, OH, February 8, 2017
When the Trump administration promoted its 2017 “American Heroes Week,” the alleged Commander-in-Chief let it be known in a torrential three-tweet series that he does not include trans people in the category of “American Heroes,” especially those currently and previously serving in the U.S. military.
Jaquarrius Holland, 18, Monroe, LA, February 19, 2017
“After consideration with my Generals and military experts, please be advised that the United States Government will not accept or allow…… ….Transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. military. Our military must be focused on decisive and overwhelming….. ….victory and cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail. Thank you.”
Tiara Lashaytheboss Richmond, (a.k.a. Keke Collier) 24, Chicago, IL, Feb. 21, 2017
Trump’s official policy-by-tweet contradicts Department of Defense regulations released June 30, 2016 under Defense Secretary Ash Carter permitting trans people to join and openly serve their country. At that time, the United States added its name to an ever-increasing list of 19 other nations welcoming trans people into their military ranks, with the Netherlands as the first as far back as 1973. A sampling of others includes Australia, Bolivia, Canada, Germany, Israel, New Zealand, and Spain.
Chyna Doll Dupree, 31, New Orleans, LA, February 25, 2017
A Rand Study fully debunks the Lier-in-Chief’s assertion of some sort of burdensome “tremendous medical costs” expended on trans servicemembers. Of the Pentagon’s annual military health care budget of $6.28 billion, an estimated relatively minuscule $2.4 – 8.4 million accounts for transition-related health care costs.
Ciara McElween, 21, New Orleans, LA, February 27, 2017
In addition, Rand found that merely 25 – 130 active-component trans military personnel have deployment restrictions due to transition-related medical treatments. In comparison, 50,000 active-duty soldiers in one single branch, the Army, cannot deploy for medical and other reasons.
Alphonza Watson, 38, Baltimore, MD, March 22, 2017
Trump’s latest assault on the trans community comes in the form of a yet another likely rollback of protections initiated by his immediate predecessor.
Kenne McFadden, 26, San Antonio, TX, April 9, 2017
The Obama administration issued a policy directive manual enumerating the rights and responsibilities of transgender people in prison related to several areas including housing, strip searches, and medical care. The directive advised respect and protection of transgender inmates and, on a case-by-case basis, the possibility of residence in prisons matching their gender identities.
Chayviss Reed, Opa-Locka, FL, April 21, 2017
Trump’s expected dismantling of protections will have wide-ranging negative effects.
Kenneth Bostick, 59, New York City, NY, May 4, 2017
The National Center for Transgender Equality found that 16% of transgender adults (including 21% of transwomen) have been incarcerated in prison or jail at some point in their lives. Nearly half (47%) of black transgender women have been incarcerated.
Sherrell Faulkner, 46, Charlotte, North Carolina, May 16, 2017
These high rates are associated with disproportionate poverty, homelessness, societal and workplace discrimination, involvement in street economies, and sometimes, bias from law enforcement. They are also at higher risk for harassment, abuse, and violence in juvenile detention facilities, jails, and prisons.
Josie Berrios, (a.k.a. Kendra Marie Adams) 28, Ithica, NY, June 13, 2017
“Corrections” officials routinely deny transgender people transition-related medical care, and they often suffer prolonged sentences of isolation.
Ava Le’Ray Barrin, 17, Athens, GA, June 25, 2017
It should be crystal clear to everyone that Trump’s motive in declaring war on an entire category of people has nothing to do with concerns over improving military readiness, or ending discrimination in schools and in the workplace, or improving prison conditions. It has nothing to do with health care costs. It has nothing to do with some alleged and unspecific “disruption,” and it certainly has nothing to do with “religious freedom.”
Ebony Morgan, 28, Lynchburg, VA, July 2, 2017
Trump’s actions are intended to harden his appeal with his base of support by targeting scapegoats for his failed policies and increasingly failed presidency.
Troy “Tee Tee” Dangerfield, College Park, GA, August 1, 2017
Trump’s not-so-surprising assaults on trans people has the heavy thumb print of Vice President Pence who, in his first congressional campaign in 2000, argued for public funding of so-called “conversion therapy” for LGBTQ people. On his website at the time, his disdain for same-sex attractions and sexuality stands out:
Jaylow McGlory, 29, Alexandria, LA, August 4, 2017
“Congress should support the reauthorization of the Ryan White Care Act only after completion of an audit to ensure that federal dollars were no longer being given to organizations that celebrate and encourage the types of behaviors that facilitate the spreading of the HIV virus. Resources should be directed toward those institutions which provide assistance to those seeking to change their sexual behavior.”
Gwynevere River Song, 26, Waxahachie, TX, August 12, 2017
Pence opposes marriage equality and LGBTQ non-discrimination protections, and as Indiana Governor, helped to pass the so-called Religious Freedom Restoration law allowing businesses to discriminate against LGBTQ people. The state was forced to amend the law after experiencing serious political and financial push back.
Kiwi Herring, 30, St. Louis, MO, August 22, 2017
Donald Trump, by choosing Mike Pence, has added LGBTQ people to his already extensive list of scapegoated “Others,” which include Mexicans and all Central and South American-heritage people, First Nations peoples, Muslims, people with disabilities, all women, and NFL players and coaches taking a knee in solidarity with groups like Black Lives Matter protesting police attacks on black and brown people.
Kashmire Nazier Redd, 28, Gates, NY, September 4, 2017
By choosing Mike Pence, Trump has double-downed in his attempts to divide and conquer the electorate by instilling fear in promising the bigoted the “freedom” to discriminate to the fullest extent of the law without the threat of prosecution.
Derricka Banner, 26, Charlotte, North Carolina, September 12, 2017
Members of the trans community often suffer the consequences of other truth tellers of the past. Nearly every two – three days, a person, like those highlighted throughout this commentary, are killed somewhere in the world for expressing gender diversity. The vast majority of murders are of trans women of color.
Ally Steinfeld, 17, Cahool, MO, September 14, 2017
We must all stand up and be counted against the scurrilous attacks perpetrated by the Trump administration.
Stephanie Montez, 47, Robstown, TX, September 28, 2017
We must not permit the policymakers, the majority presumably heterosexual and largely cisgender male, to dictate policy over whether transgender employees and students are protected against discrimination,
Candace Towns, 30, Macon, GA, October 31, 2017
…and whether trans service members are granted permission openly to serve their country.
Brooklyn BreYanna Stevenson, 31, Oklahoma City, OK, November 27, 2017
And we must not allow anyone, policymaker or otherwise, to demean, intimidate, harass, violate, or murder anyone, including our dear transgender worriers.
Brandi Seals, 26, Houston, TX, December 13, 2017