The Trump administration’s assault on trans rights and freedoms continues to gather pace.
Following the news that Trump plans to change the legal definition of gender so that it is fixed from birth, Trans Lifeline, a crisis hotline for trans people, has reported a quadruple increase of calls to its suicide hotline since the plans were revealed.
Trump’s proposed policies wouldn’t just permanently tie a person’s gender to their birth genitalia, but would also ensure laws sex discrimination laws do not protect trans people. This would enable discrimination in all areas of life, such as in schools, housing, and employment, erasing decades of hard won gains.
Sam Ames, the executive director of Trans Lifeline, told Teen Vogue:
At Trans Lifeline, we are able see in real time that policy debates don’t take place in a vacuum—they have direct and immediate impacts on real lives
Anti-trans rhetoric from politicians and commentators can partly explain the shocking 80 per cent rise in anti-LGBT+ violence in 2017, with panic-driven debates over bathrooms taking prominence.
Ames also told Teen Vogue calls from Massachusetts, a state that will have a referendum on transgender rights on the ballots on November 6, had dramatically increased. He said:
Moments like this are exactly why Trans Lifeline exists