Thursday 13 December 2018

Transgender and non-binary people take to social media to protest over US memo

An unreleased memo from the Trump administration’s Health and Human Services Department proposes changes to the way gender is defined.

(nito100/Getty Images)
(nito100/Getty Images)

By Emily Chudy, Press Association

Transgender and non-binary people are taking to Twitter to protest over an unreleased memo from the Trump administration that proposes changes to the way gender is defined.

The unreleased memo from the US Department for Health and Human Services calls for a tightening of the legal definition of sex, excluding transgender and non-binary individuals.

It reportedly said: “The sex listed on a person’s birth certificate, as originally issued, shall constitute definitive proof of a person’s sex unless rebutted by reliable genetic evidence.”

If this proposed change is to be considered, it could affect an estimated 1.4 million Americans who identify as a different gender to that which they were assigned.

To protest against this memo, transgender and non-binary people have been using the hashtag #WontBeErased on Twitter, along with selfies and positive messages, to amplify their voices and raise awareness of the issue.

Along with LGBTQ+ organisations and charities, celebrities including Susan Sarandon and Laverne Cox have posted about the memo with messages of support.

Social media user Kelly said: “I joined #WontBeErased because for the longest time I have remained silent about being transgender.

“I want everyone to know how this effects people like me… I will fight this with everything I have.”

Some Twitter users posted on behalf of their transgender friends and family, who could be affected if policy were to change in the US.

Paria Hassouri, a paediatrician in California, said: “I posted about my daughter using the #WontBeErased hashtag because I think it’s important for transgender people and families to be visible in the community… Ultimately, this is about human rights and equal rights.

“More than ever we need to come together and support particularly our kids who will be the policy makers of the future. I still believe that love is stronger than fear and hate.”

The online use of the hashtag was coupled with offline protests, which saw hundreds take to the street in New York and Washington DC on October 21 and October 22.

Press Association

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