WRITTEN AND CONTRIBUTED BY KWYN TOWNSEND RILEY
What You Need to Know:
The Biden administration marked International Transgender Day of Visibility with a series of measures in response to the recent legislative attacks to curb their rights across the country.
The administration on Thursday announced the option for U.S. citizens to select “X” when identifying their gender on U.S. passport applications, allowing transgender and non-binary Americans to identify themselves as they choose.
The Social Security Administration will remove the requirement that transgender people show proof of identity or a doctor’s note to update their gender information starting in 2022, and new steps from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and FAFSA will allow trans individuals to indicate their gender identity. This will remove barriers to self-identification they may face in the employment and student loan process.
The Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Education, and The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration will release new materials aimed at addressing challenges transgender youth may face in schools and in mental health care.
The Department of Health and Human Services also flew a transgender pride flag to mark the day. This was the first time in history a federal agency did so.
Transgender Day of Remembrance is held every year on November 20 to memorialize the transgender people who have lost their lives as a result of anti-transgender violence. It was founded in 2009 by Rachel Crandall, a Michigan transgender activist and the executive director of Transgender Michigan. International Transgender Day of Visibility aims to celebrate the achievements of transgender rights activists and to increase awareness of the ongoing challenges transgender and gender-nonconformist people face.
Why You Need to Know:
This month, Republican Gov. Dicey of Arizona signed two bills into law targeting transgender youth in the state, including one that restricts access to gender-affirming health care for minors, while a controversial order in Texas seeks to investigate gender-affirming care of minors as ‘child abuse.’
“In the past year, hundreds of anti-transgender bills in States were proposed across America, most of them targeting transgender kids. The onslaught has continued this year. These bills are wrong,” Biden’s proclamation said.
“Efforts to criminalize supportive medical care for transgender kids, to ban transgender children from playing sports, and to outlaw discussing LGBTQI+ people in schools undermine their humanity and corrode our Nation’s values.”