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Trans Rights, Politics and Voting

By Leea Pronovost

One of the things that really bothers me is the fact that people want to politicize Transgender Rights. First off, as far as I’m concerned, Transgender Rights are Human Rights! So, I wonder, how can you politicize Human Rights? How is it, that someone can actually take a stance against Human Rights? Human Rights is not like a piece of pie that if someone gets some, you’re left with less. It means that we are all equal! After all, isn’t that what our Constitution says and was written to uphold that concept? Isn’t that what the Declaration of Independence states, which was the founding document for this country?

Before I really get into it, I just want to say, *Disclaimer: this is not to endorse any particular party, nor to endorse any candidate. These are solely my views, and my views alone.

I want to talk policies, and the politics of those policies. The main reason is because it has been a politically charged week. This past week has really made me upset. With the RNC going on and all these people who support our current president and his administration boasting that “he has been one of the friendliest LGBT presidents in the history of the United States of America”, I’m not here to argue about that. I’m going to point out some of his policies and you can make up your mind for yourself. I also know that if you’re an LGBTQIA+ ally, then you’ve probably heard all this before in one form or another.

The other reason for this article is, I feel it is imperative at this time for people to get out and VOTE!! I feel there has been so much deceit going on in the news that you need to be made aware of the issues and where our country is going. I want to emphasize upon you, that in this election, we are not just voting who will run this country for the next four years, but this person that takes office on January 20th, will be replacing at least one Supreme Court Justice! Many other lower court justices upholding the rule of law, making decisions on our personal health care and civil rights. Amongst many other issues vital to our democracy. They will be the one to uphold democracy or let if fall. Which, in my mind and personal opinion is where this country is going under with the current administration. Also, in my personal opinion if you’re a trans woman such as myself, your voting for the shear possibility to exist! That is not to mention that all LGBTQ rights are on the line!!

In the workplace, Trump and his policy makers have supported the discrimination of all LGBTQ people by filing an amicus brief to the US Supreme Court. He banned transgender people from serving in the military, despite the advice of all the military experts and turned over the previous DOJ interpretations of the Civil Rights Act, which protected trans and GNC (Gender Non-Conforming) people. They set up policies to enable exemption from non-discriminations on the basis of religious beliefs and set up policies to enable to kick people out of the military who are HIV positive.

His (Trump) policies have been to oppose the Equality Act, that was passed by the House of Representatives. He has appointed many Anti-LGBTQ judges to every level of our judicial system. They setup guidance for the schools to be able to ignore Transgender students and their rights to a proper education, free from harassment, denying access to facilities that are in accordance with their gender identity. They have rejected complaints from transgender students, refusing to respond to any and all civil complaints in this regard. They have allowed private schools to discriminate against all LGBTQ people and still receive federal funding. They’ve eliminated protections of LGBTQ kids in the 4-H Programs. Best of all, used the title IX against transgender students!!

In health care, they have advocated for the elimination of the protections of the Affordable Care Act that protects LGBTQ people, in particular, trying to eliminate the health care for transgender people. HHS (Department of Health and Human Services) issued a proposed major change to the Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act. They created a religious discrimination division of HHS just to defend medical professionals who decide to refuse care to LGBTQ people. They have allowed shelters to refuse transgender and gender non-conforming people into the shelter. They have canceled a survey that was scheduled for homeless LGBTQ people. They have advocated for the placement of transgender people that have committed a crime, to be sent to prison or jail that conforms with their birth gender.

The current administration through HHS, (Department of Health and Human Services), has allowed discrimination of LGBTQ people in adoption and foster care agencies along with both religious minorities and women and they still receive federal funding. They have refused visas to same sex partners of diplomats and United Nations workers if they’re not married. Not to mention, changing the laws for same sex couples, who have a child born abroad, via a surrogate, making it harder for them to claim citizenship.

They have proposed a new definition to define sex as: either male or female and to make that unchangeable, as it was determined at the time of birth. Basically, eliminating transgender, intersex, and gender non-conforming people.

They have wiped from all government websites of, “any mentions or representations of any LGBTQ rights” and removed it from the census!

They have been refusing asylum to LGBTQ seekers that are fleeing violence.

They have stopped all US embassies around the world to flying the rainbow flag, showing it as a safe place for LGBTQ people.

They have also left the United Nations Human Rights Council over LGBTQ and other issues.

Therefore, given the policies of this administration, I find myself dumbfounded on how anyone could claim that they, (being the current president and his administration) could possibly be the most “pro LGBTQ president in the history of the US”. It seems to me, based upon these policies, in my personal opinion, that the opposite would be a truer statement.

In closing, I must implore you, especially if you’re LGBTQIA+, PLEASE, get registered to vote and vote as if your life depends upon it! I know, as for myself, I am voting! I personally feel that as a transgender woman, who identifies as a lesbian, my life depends upon who I vote for, and what policies the next administration will have. I will leave it to you to make up your own mind as to how to vote, now that I’ve shown what the current administration is capable of and doing.

I must state here, that even though I have only informed you of verifiable facts, that for the most part, this is an opinion that I hold, as not just an opinion, but I believe to be a lifesaving defense mechanism!!!

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