Gender Identity Cannot Be Erased

The move would be tantamount to the government’s declaring there’s no such thing as “transgender” and would effectively exclude transgender and nonbinary people from basic civil rights protections currently guaranteed by federal law. HuffPost, regarding the Trump administration’s rumored plans “to redefine gender”

Protests regarding the above-cited news have been set into motion—see #WeWontBeErased, for example. (A complete breakdown of the leaked “anti-trans memo” is available at The Advocate.)

Another way to reach people is via education. “As trans activist Faye Seidler quipped, more Americans said they had seen a ghost than knew a transgender person, according to some polls” (Sarah McBride‘s 2018 Tomorrow Will Be Different: Love, Loss, and the Fight for Trans Equality).

The following are quotes from other authors who’ve written effectively about transgender issues. For further information, click on the book titles.

Nicki Peter Petrikowski, editor, Critical Perspectives on Gender Identity (2016): “Accepted social gender roles and expectations are so entrenched in our culture that most people cannot imagine any other way. As a result, individuals fitting neatly into these expectations rarely if ever question what gender really means. They have never had to, because the system has worked for them.”

Julia Serano, in Gender Outlaws: The Next Generation (2010): “Whenever I hear someone who has not had a transsexual experience say that gender is just a construct or merely a performance, it always reminds me of that Stephen Colbert gag where he insists that he doesn’t see race. It’s easy to fictionalize an issue when you’re not aware of the many ways in which you are privileged by it.”

Gwendolyn Ann Smith, in Gender Outlaws: The Next Generation (2010): “We can’t ignore right-wing demagogues who insist that the word of the doctor who proclaims a child’s sex at birth somehow holds more sway over the reality of the body than the word of the person who inhabits it.”

Ian Thomas Malone, The Transgender Manifesto (2017): “If you’re in doubt as to whether or not a question is inappropriate, here’s a helpful tip. Ask yourself if you would feel comfortable asking that question to a cisgender person. Generally speaking we as a society don’t go around asking people about their private parts. They’re called private for a reason.”

Janet MockRedefining Realness: My Path to Womanhood, Identity, Love & So Much More (2014): “Self-definition and self-determination is about the many varied decisions that we make to compose and journey toward ourselves, about the audacity and strength to proclaim, create, and evolve into who we know ourselves to be. It’s okay if your personal definition is in a constant state of flux as you navigate the world.”

Christina Engela, in Inanna Rising: Women Forged in Fire (2015), edited by Amanda M. Lyons

Voting on things is democratic, yes – but not on deciding on whether or not people should be equal or have human rights. That isn’t democracy, it is mob rule.

Everybody should be equal in a democracy – that is the nature of a democracy.

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