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Community mobilizes over government memo to redefine gender

The LGBT community responds to a New York Times article which exposes an alleged memo to redefine gender across America.
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A New York Times article titled, "Trump Administration Eyes Defining Transgender Out of Existence," about forthcoming rules from Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has the LGBT community on high-alert. The publication alleges the department wrote a memo which suggests government agencies adopt a new definition of gender that would leave about 2 million trans men and women in the United States without federal recognition.

“Sex means a person’s status as male or female based on immutable biological traits identifiable by or before birth," the memo says. "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.”

This proposed change concerns not only trans activists and their allies but other LGBT groups because it would attack civil and women's rights allowing people to legally discriminate anyone who does not follow gender conformity. Doing that would make it legal to deny rights for equality In things such as health care, housing, education, and fair treatment.

"To transgender people: I know you are frightened. I know you are horrified to see your existence treated in such an inhumane and flippant manner," said Mara Keisling from the National Center for Transgender Equality. "What this administration is trying to do is an abomination, a reckless attack on your life and mine. Remember that you are far from alone.  There is an entire human rights community that not only stands with us but will always fight back—and fight hard."

A selfie social media movement has been started in which people take a photo of themselves and caption it using #WontBeErased.

"This proposal is an attempt to put heartless restraints on the lives of 2 million people, effectively abandoning our right to equal access to health care, to housing, to education, or to fair treatment under the law," said Keisling. "This administration is willing to disregard the established medical and legal view of our rights and ourselves to solidify an archaic, dogmatic, and frightening view of the world. This transparent political attack will not succeed administratively, legally, or morally."

Diana Flynn, Lambda Legal Litigation Director said in a statement, "This is clearly another ideologically-driven attempt by the Trump administration to marginalize transgender people and force them into the shadows. They have neither law nor fact on their side, and we will not accept this shameless attempt on the part of our government to erase the very existence of transgender members of our community."