Activists, politicians, corporations, and public figures are all speaking out against the Trump administration’s decision to repeal transgender guidelines for students.
On Wednesday, the Trump administration officially announced they were rescinding the Department of Justice guidelines that protected transgender students. The guidelines were previously issued by the Obama administration and said that a student’s gender identity was protected under Title IX sex discrimination rules.
At the heart of the debate is Gavin Grimm, whose case vs. the Gloucester County School Board of Virginia is heading to the Supreme Court in March. The case will decide if he has the right to use the school restrooms that correspond with his gender identity. The outcome could impact all future decisions regarding transgender rights in schools, and the action taken by the Trump administration will diminish his chances, as the court no longer has the guidance to consider.
Grimm spoke to the Associated Press and took part in a D.C. rally to protest the decision:
“It’s not positive. It has the possibility of hurting transgender students and transgender people. We’re going to keep fighting like we have been and keep fighting for the right thing.” – Gavin Grimm
Many public figures in the transgender community are speaking out.
To young trans folk: Remember this is your school too. You deserve equal access, affirmation & education. You belong. Nothing is wrong w you
— Janet Mock (@janetmock) February 23, 2017
Actress Laverne Cox took to Instagram:
Jazz Jennings and her mom made a video:
— Jazz Jennings (@JazzJennings__) February 22, 2017
Actress Jamie Clayton went after Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos:
— Jamie Clayton (@MsJamieClayton) February 23, 2017
— Chaz Bono (@ChazBono) February 23, 2017
Trans students don’t “choose” a bathroom like ketchup. We wish to go where we fit in, where we will be left alone, and where we are safe.
— Jenny B. (@JennyBoylan) February 23, 2017
Noted transgender public figure and Trump supporter, Caitlyn Jenner, has been notably quiet on this issue.
Caitlyn Jenner finally weighed in on Thursday night with a video message:
— Caitlyn Jenner (@Caitlyn_Jenner) February 24, 2017
A couple of tech giants also spoke out.
Apple released the following statement:
“Apple believes everyone deserves a chance to thrive in an environment free from stigma and discrimination. We support efforts toward greater acceptance, not less, and we strongly believe that transgender students should be treated as equals. We disagree with any effort to limit or rescind their rights and protections.”
Microsoft’s President and Chief Legal Officer Brad Smith took to twitter:
Since Jan. 1, 1863, the federal government has played a vital role in protecting the rights of all Americans. Let’s not stop now. #LGBTQ
— Brad Smith (@BradSmi) February 22, 2017
Transgender rights groups are speaking out.
The American Civil Liberties Union:
— ACLU National (@ACLU) February 22, 2017
Chad Griffin, President of the Human Rights Campaign:
“These transgender students simply want to go to school in the morning without fear of discrimination or harassment. The consequences of this decision will no doubt be heartbreaking. This isn’t a ‘states rights’ issue, it’s a civil rights issue. Children deserve protection from bullying no matter what state they live in. Period.”
The National Center for Transgender Equality:
— Trans Equality (@TransEquality) February 23, 2017
The Transgender Law Center:
No matter what this administration says, the law remains on transgender students’ side. TLC and many others are fighting for them daily.
— TransgenderLawCenter (@TransLawCenter) February 22, 2017
Politicians are speaking out.
New York Senator Chuck Schumer:
Trump admin decision to roll back protections for transgender Americans is just plain wrong & cuts directly across the drive for equality.
— Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) February 23, 2017
Pennsylvania Senator Bob Casey:
Transgender children often face relentless bullying; @realDonaldTrump‘s decision to undo protections for these students is wrong & troubling
— Senator Bob Casey (@SenBobCasey) February 23, 2017
Democratic House Leader Nancy Pelosi:
— Nancy Pelosi (@NancyPelosi) February 23, 2017
Republican Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen of Florida, who has a transgender son:
“This lamentable decision can lead to hostile treatment of transgender students and studies have shown that bullying and harassment can be detrimental to the emotional and physical well-being of teenagers.”
Kamala Harris, D-California; Ed Markey, D-Massachusetts; Tammy Baldwin, D-Wisconsin; and Representatives Adam Schiff, D-California; Jared Polis, D-Colorado; and Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, D-Florida; all responded on twitter.
Public figures are also speaking out.
Just seeing the news about removing laws protecting trans people. This isn’t about politics. It’s about human rights, and it’s not okay.
— Ellen DeGeneres (@TheEllenShow) February 23, 2017
— Kathy Griffin (@kathygriffin) February 22, 2017
— Brie Larson (@brielarson) February 23, 2017
President Trump’s twitter account has been silent on this issue, however the backlash continues as more people are speaking out against his decision.