“It requires great courage to live authentically as a transgender person. Over a million Americans simply want the same rights and protections as everyone else.”
Rev. Elder Rachelle Brown, Interim Moderator Metropolitan Community Churches
“President Donald Trump and his Administration’s effort to narrowly define an individual’s gender as their anatomy at birth is an alarming step that will impact transgender Americans,” said Rev. Elder Rachelle Brown, Interim Moderator, Metropolitan Community Churches (MCC). “We strongly urge the Administration to relent in this effort.”
As reported by the New York Times, the Department of Health and Human Services (DHH) is attempting to redefine gender as that which is dictated at birth. In a draft document, gender at birth can only be identified as male or female and would be unchangeable.
“The latest attempt of the Trump Administration to further marginalize the Trans and Gender Nonconforming (TGNC) community by erasing our identities will have a profound negative impact all TGNC people, including TGNC people with disabilities and TGNC people of color,” said Kris Guin, Intersectional LGBTQ and Disability Justice Advocate, and Friend of MCC of Washington, DC.
If the Administration successfully changes policy, transgender people would no longer be protected by gender discrimination laws currently in place. Additionally, vulnerable populations of people would experience the least protection in places in which privacy and gender matter:restrooms, locker rooms, prisons, and homeless shelters.
“As an out and proud queer trans Autistic son of God, I am particularly concerned about the impact it will have on God’s autistic children of all ages who are more likely to be LGBTQ than the general population. For example, TGNC people and autistic people experience homelessness, unemployment, poverty, and mental health disabilities at disproportionate rates, and not having a legal definition of gender identity will further exacerbate these disparities by placing barriers to services and supports that allow us to live dignified, healthy lives,” Guin said.
“A strict definition of gender is another example of people fearing something they don’t understand,” said Rev. Elder Brown. “Removing access to government services or protections based on gender identity will benefit no one but will cause significant harm to a vulnerable population.”
A 2016 study by the Williams Institute found 0.6 percent of Americans identify as transgender–approximately 1.4 million individuals.
“It requires great courage to live authentically as a transgender person. Over a million Americans simply want the same rights and protections as everyone else,” said Rev. Elder Brown.
ordan Decker has been with MCC since 1991, and was a speaker at the General Conference Worship for the Transgender Service in Victoria, BC, in 2016. He recently opened Trans HeartLine, a post-op housing for the transgender community.
In response to the proposed changes, Decker said, “I am a human. You are a human. Let us meet here. I beg for others’ comfort, safety and security. Because I am willing to step out in my faith, I can stand in my truth, and be not afraid.”