The Liberator

Proud of pride: Celebrating acceptance

Ainsley Freeman, Staff Writer

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A 2017 study by the United States National Institute of Health shows that there are over one million genderqueer adults in the United States. These people are much more likely to be discriminated against, unemployed, attacked, harassed by law enforcement and forgo healthcare for fear of discrimination, according to a study by the National LGBTQ Task Force.

Genderqueer people do not identify as the gender that is on their birth certificate. Sex identifies a person as male or female and is determined by the biology of a child at birth. Gender is how people identify. A genderqueer person could be born as a male but identify as a female. Cisgender people, on the other hand, identify with the sex they were assigned at birth.

On Oct. 22, President Trump said that he is considering redefining gender so that a person’s gender would be the same as the sex listed on their birth certificate. With this policy, the White House will be changing the gender of millions of Americans, forcing them to conform to their physical attributes, not the gender they identify with.

Genderqueer people already face a massive amount of discrimination and harassment in the United States. In 2017, over 20 genderqueer Americans were killed in violent attacks, says a study by the Human Rights Campaign. Another study, by Ipsos, a global marketing and research firm, says that nearly 32 percent of Americans believe that transgender people have mental illnesses. Others don’t recognize being genderqueer as a real identity, something that this policy will only validate. Texas itself has only just come out of the battle against the bathroom bill that would have forced transgender people to go into the bathroom of their sex at birth. Conservatives argue that they are not discriminating against genderqueer people, rather protecting women from sexual assault by not allowing trans women into women’s bathrooms. If this was really the case, these conservatives would make policy changes to lessen the hundreds of assaults on campuses and in workplaces.

Trump’s proposed policy would make it difficult for transgender people to legally transition from one sex to another, maybe even impossible. In addition, it would take away the federal recognition of a person’s identity, meaning that if someone were to apply for a job, healthcare or other things, they would have to announce their gender as their sex, essentially erasing their identity.

Trump says that he is not protecting LGBTQ people, he is protecting everybody. If he were really protecting everybody, he would allow Americans to legally be the gender they identify as. Forty percent of people who identify as a gender different than the one assigned at birth committed suicide in 2017, according to a study by the American Society of Suicide Prevention. This policy has the potential to cause suicide rates to rocket up. Medical experts have said that defining a person’s gender as their sex is scientifically inaccurate and potentially harmful to patients.

On Nov. 23, Trump asked the Supreme Court to take up a military transgender ban. With Judge Kavanaugh on the Supreme Court now, the sad and frustrating truth is that the ban will likely go through, meaning that if a gender nonconforming person would want to join the military, they would have to do so under the sex they were born as. The Trump administration has never openly defended the rights of the LGBTQ community, even after many cruel attacks against genderqueer Americans, ending in many being shot, stabbed, and killed. It has become blatantly clear that the government is not thinking, or caring, about what is right for genderqueer Americans, and only what is right for themselves.

I find it disgusting that the president of the United States of America, the supposed model of freedom, is a closed minded man who is guided by his own self-interests, not those of the people he’s supposed to serve. America should be a safe haven for every human, whether they were born in the United States or not, regardless of their religion, sexuality or gender identity or race. As a part of the LGBTQ community myself, I am horrified at our President’s actions and scared of what might come next for the LGBTQ community.

During Trump’s campaign, he told voters that he was going to put America first. But putting America first means putting all of America first, not only white, straight, cisgender, Republican men. “America First” means LGBTQ Americans too. America First means African-Americans, Asian-Americans, Hispanic-Americans. America First means that every American is treated equally by their peers and the government, no matter their race, sexual orientation and gender identity. It seems now that Trump’s “America First” tagline was only talk, and the only people he puts first are himself, and the people like him.

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Proud of pride: Celebrating acceptance