The New York Times reported this weekend that the Trump administration is seeking to roll back Obama-era definitions of sex that include an understanding of gender identity, with the aim of defining gender as biological and determined at birth. This would have a profound and terrifying impact on the lives of transgender people, invalidating the lived experiences of 1.4 million trans Americans and leaving open the door to strip away the few protections they've been granted.
In a memo obtained by the Times, the Department of Health and Human Services seeks to legally define sex as biological under Title IX, which prevents gender-based discrimination, claiming that the government needs to define gender "on a biological basis that is clear, grounded in science, objective and administrable." The current administration would define gender as immutably male or female based on the genitalia recorded at birth, and citizen's disputes about their gender would require genetic testing.
"Sex means a person's status as male or female based on immutable biological traits identifiable by or before birth," read the memo. "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 the key Departments of Education, Justice, Health and Human Services, and Labor adopt the Department of Health and Human Services' definition of gender, the government's widespread stance would likely impact courts across the country, leaving transgender Americans open to discrimination in all areas of their lives. According to Trump officials, health and human services reportedly hopes to present their definition to the Justice Department by the end of the year.
The news has already exploded across social media, with key figures hoping to illustrate the serious implications this could have on the lives of transgender people in America.