trans flag by Alexander Grey on Unsplash
On November 20, 2023, President Joe Biden wrote a statement that was posted on the WhiteHouse.gov website.
“There is no place for hate in America and no one should be discriminated against simply for being themselves. Today, on Transgender Day of Remembrance we are reminded that there is more to do meet that promise, as we grieve the 26 transgender Americans whose lives were taken this year. While each one of these deaths is a tragedy — the true toll of those victimized is likely even higher, with the majority of those targeted being women of color.
“It’s unacceptable and it’s why my Administration has taken action to strengthen the rights, and protect the safety of transgender and all LGBTQI+ Americans. My Administration ended the ban on transgender Americans serving our country and I signed historic executive action to strengthen civil rights protections for all LGBTQI+ Americans.
“The Department of Homeland Security, with the support from the Department of Justice and the Department of Health and Human Services, have launched the LGBTQI+ Community Safety Partnership that works hand-in-hand with LGBTQI+ community organizations to provide critical safety resources.
“We must never be silent in the face of hate. As we mourn the loss of transgender Americans taken too soon this year, we must also recommit ourselves to never stop fighting until all Americans can live free from discrimination.”
The Hill reported that Biden’s statement comes as Republican-led states have rolled back transgender rights over the past few years, and Republican presidential candidates have vowed to restrict support for gender-affirming care and lashed out against the inclusion of transgender women and girls in sports.
According to The Hill, President Biden touted his administration has taken to strengthen rights for the LGBTQ community, citing the reversal of the Trump White House’s decision to ban transgender individuals from serving in the military and an executive order to bolster civil rights for all LGBTQ Americans.
Personally, I believe that it is extremely important that we as a nation protect the rights of transgender people. It is unacceptable to allow bullies to force transgender people away from the gender-affirming health care they need, and to make their lives harder due to discrimination and hate.
The ACLU reported that Republican members of the House of Representatives have inserted anti-LGBTQ provisions into all 12 of the must-pass appropriation bills. These riders include restrictions on gender-affirming care, allowances for discrimination against same-sex couples, prohibitions against drag performances, banning of pride flag displays, and restrictions on diversity and inclusion programs.
According to the ACLU, out of all the appropriations bills, the Labor, Health, and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies Appropriations Bill for FY 2024 is arguably the most nefarious and dangerous bill for the transgender community.
The anti-LGBTQ riders in this bill seek to prohibit funds from being used for implementing anti-discrimination and equity programs, taking discriminatory action against anyone that speaks or acts in accordance with the belief that marriage is between a man and a woman, or displaying pride flags. Section 534 of this bill would also prohibit funds from being used for gender-affirming surgical procedures or hormone therapies. If this passed, this would have extensive, damaging effects.
That’s why it was so important for President Biden to affirm that no one should be discriminated against for simply being themselves. He is the only President to be outspoken about protecting transgender adults and children.
I am writing this as a non-binary person who is part of the LGBTQIA+ community. We cannot allow a mean-spirited group of bullies, who happen to be in Congress, to terrorize people who are transgender. President Joe Biden’s message appears to target nasty republicans who refuse to acknowledge that trans people have the right to exist.