Well, we’re only on day 35, and each time it feels like we’re getting used to Trump’s absurd reversal of everything we know, he throws another one at us.
We’ve come a long way with Title IX, an order created to protect students in the face of sex discrimination. Obama’s extending of these rights to transgender students was revolutionary. Unfortunately, it’s the latest to come under attack by Trump’s plan to de-federalize federal laws.
As the delicate Sean Spicer put it, “The president has made it clear throughout the campaign that he’s a firm believer in states’ rights and that certain issues like this are not best dealt with at the federal level.” Sound familiar?
By revoking transgender students’ rights, such as bathroom-choice, Trump is reinforcing the pressures already in place for students of LGBTQ identities. With high bullying rates and equally frustrating social pressures, transgender students will likely face backlash from Trump supporters and other bullies who aren’t 70 year-old toupee-wearing men.
And while the Department of Education has upheld transgender rights for years, Secretary Betsy DeVos has been unsurprisingly vague about whether she will uphold Trump’s position. She called Obama’s policies in regards to trans students an “overreach,” yet just hours earlier she said that she was committed to protecting LGBTQ students in schools across America. Whether this was another blanket statement by DeVos is unclear.
Still, there is some possibility that the bill will not pass. North Carolina faced major backlash from sports organizations and businesses after the state passed a bill requiring students to use bathrooms of their assigned genders. After seeing the response to N.C.’s bill, other states shut down similar bills pretty quickly.
While transgender is perhaps the most easily ignored letter in LGBTQ, make no mistake that there are many supporters, both corporate and individual, of trans-people. While Trump is busy shutting down minority groups, minority groups are coming together to band against him. Additionally, Apple and Google, among other tech giants, have come out with statements opposing Trump’s new initiative.
We can only hope that it doesn’t get worse from here.