Transgenders Feeling Trumped

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By Grace Norley, Franklin & Marshall College

Fear. With recent news of President Trumps ban on Syrian refugees and Muslims entering the country, there seems to be a lot of fear circulating. Fear about the future and fear about what Trump will legalize or make illegal next. This fear has prompted something unlikely. Transgender people from all different communities rushing to passport offices.

For many transgender people their goal is to live a normal life, not being questioned or judged based on their gender. One woman states, “That simple documentation where your name and gender match your appearance can change your world… It can change your interactions with police and the people you meet in everyday life. It makes all the difference.” While many states allow one to change their gender on a state ID with a letter from their health care provider, 21 states require a court order, proof of surgery, or both. Surgery for sex change is expensive and not all transgender people can afford this or even desire a surgery. To change one’s gender on a passport however, the state will accept a letter from the patient’s physician stating that the patient is receiving treatment decided by both the patient and the doctor. So with the fear of what Trump may do to their rights, transgender people are making moves to have their true gender identified on a passport.

It’s not hard to understand why people from LGBTQ communities feel the need now more than ever to make these changes. While Trump and his cabinet have done nothing but instill fear and discrimination in people’s minds, Trump’s authority has also justified discrimination and hatred among the public. Just 10 days following the November 8 election, there were 867 cases of hateful harassments reported. These harassments targeted LGTBQ, Muslims, and other minority groups. While transgenders are part of a minority group, they seemed to have been making progress in gaining more acceptance nationwide. So what does this say about Trumps impact on our nation?

I am a firm believer that we should accept others as they are, and that all humans are equal no matter their religion, skin tone, gender, or sexuality. I feel this way because I have been raised in a world where acceptance of others is the norm. Many would look at the way my generation views the world and others as progress. It seems however that with the election of Trump, the progress that’s been made is starting to be reversed. It feels as though hate and discrimination have started taking over love and acceptance.

There is no doubt that transgender people should have access to identification that rightly defines their gender. The notion, however, that they’re rushing to get these certifications because of a fear that their rights will be taken is wrong. Not only does it say a lot about President Trump, it says a lot about people’s beliefs for the future. I can only hope that Trump will hear the people’s cries and work to end this discrimination and fear instilled in so many.