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2018-0CT: Trump Administration is
Planning to End Recognition of Every
Transgender Person in the U.S.

Overview of transgender persons
as viewed by medical professionals
and by religious/social conservatives.

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Promises by Donald Trump:

  • THEN, as a Republican candidate for U.S. president: "I will do everything in my power to protect our LGBTQ citizens." : 1 (LGBTQ refers to lesbians, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning)

  • NOW, on 2018-OCT-22, as President: An exchange between an unidentified reporter and President Trump:

    Q What about your promise to protect transgender Americans? Are you giving up on that?

    THE PRESIDENT: We’re looking at it. We have a lot of different concepts right now. They have a lot of different things happening with respect to transgender right now. You know that as well as I do. And we’re looking at it very seriously.

    Q But what about your promise to protect the LGBTQ community?

    THE PRESIDENT: I’m protecting everybody.

    Q Transgender Americans say you’ve given up on them.

    THE PRESIDENT: You know what I’m doing? I’m protecting everybody. I want to protect our country.

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Background:

There have been two major developments in the U.S. during recent years concerning human sexuality:

  • The U.S. Supreme Court's 2015 decision legalized same-sex marriage across the entire U.S., except for the territory of American Samoa.

  • U.S. adults' approval of making same-sex marriages available to persons with a homosexual or bisexual orientation has been steadily increasing for decades, and is now approaching 70%.

Largely as a result of these developments, the main focus of discrimination by many religious and social conservatives -- and their advocacy groups -- has switched from opposing equal rights for lesbians, gays and bisexuals to opposing equal rights for transgender persons.

A transgender person identifies their current perceived gender as different from the gender recorded on their birth certificate. About 99.4% of human adults are referred to as being "cisgender." They are not transgender; they identify their current gender as unchanged from their birth-identified gender.

Consisting of a group of about 0.6% of all adults, transgender persons are thus a small minority. Further, they are identified by their sexuality. These two factors makes them prime candidates for fear, hatred, victimization by active discrimination.

Since his inauguration, President Trump's administration has repeatedly attacked transgender persons. The administration has either reversed or attempted to reverse laws regarding transgender persons, including:

  • A President Obama's policy to allow transgender persons to join the U.S. military,

  • A law that allowed transgender prison inmates to use facilities that match their gender identity,

  • A policy allowing transgender students use those school bathrooms that matched their gender identities.

Also, attorney General Jeff Sessions has sent a memo stating that civil rights laws don’t protect transgender people from sexual discrimination on the job.

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2018-OCT: A new attack: Re-defining transgender persons so that they no longer exist:

During 2018-OCT, President Trump's administration started a new initiative: to totally eliminate government recognition of the concept of being transgender. That is, the government will define every person's current gender as unchanged from their birth-identified gender:

  • Male to Female transgender persons (MTF), who were identified as male at birth but who now regard themselves as female, will be considered male;

  • Similarly, Female to Male transgender persons (FTM) will be considered female;

  • "Nonbinary" transgender persons who now identify themselves as being neither male nor female, or being intermediate between male and female, or as alternating between male and female will be considered to be of the gender that they were assigned to them at birth.

  • The gender of some intersexual persons, whose birth-gender was not obvious, will be determined by analyzing the sex chromosomes in their DNA. (Those with a "Y" chrosomome will be considered male; those without will be considered female.

  • Any disputed cases will be resolved through DNA testing.

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A brief overview about being transgender as viewed by researchers and medical professionals:

The term "sexual dimorphism" refers to differences between females and males of the same species. Among humans, these differences generally include:

  1. Different external sexual structures in the genital region. The attending physician at childbirth typically assigns a gender to the newborn based on the appearance of these structures.

  2. The presence of a "Y" sex chromosome in the DNA of males compared with a lack of "Y" chromosome in females. Detecting this requires a DNA test.

  3. Sexual dimorphism also extends to a person's brain. A recently discovered difference between female and male brains was described by Robert M. Sapolsky in The Wall Street Journal. Scientists found differences in:

    "... an obscure brain region called the forceps minor (part of the corpus callosum, a mass of fibers that connect the brain's two hemispheres). On average, among nontranssexuals, the forceps minor of males contains parallel nerve fibers of higher density than in females." 2

During the 1990s, scientists started to examine the brains of transsexuals. They found that:

  • female-to-male (FTM) transsexuals did not have the forceps minor nerve fiber density of females -- the sex that they were identified as being at birth. Rather the density matched that of males -- the sex that they identify as having during adulthood. This observation supports the commonly expressed statement by FTM transsexuals that they have a male brain in a female body. The statement appears to be literally true.

  • The hypothalamus, is a part of the brain that produces hormones.
    • In cisgender men, this part of the brain is excited by the scent of estrogen.
    • The same part of the brain in cisgender women is excited by the scent of androgen.
    • MTF transsexuals, who were identified as male at birth were found to follow the same response as cisgender women by being excited by androgen.

Thus, there is hard evidence that MTF transsexuals actually have a female brain in a male body, and vice versa. 2

The World Health Organization (WHO) has issued an updated edition of its International Classification of Diseases [ICD]. "Gender Incongruence" -- that is, being transgender, is now described as:

"... characterized by a marked and persistent incongruence between an individual’s experienced gender and ... [their birth] assigned sex.

Dr. Jennifer Conti, a fellow at Physicians for Reproductive Health described a male to female (MTF) transgender individual as:

"... a person who was born with a penis and is biologically male but identifies as female. ... We’ve historically misclassified a lot of conditions in medicine because of a combination of stigma, fear and misunderstanding. ..."

"By changing the class of this condition, the WHO is effectively saying to everyone and to the world that this is not a mental disorder and we support people who are transgender. It’s a really meaningful step because it promotes inclusivity; it promotes acceptance."

The WHO has now reclassified being transgender as a "sexual health condition." 3

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A briefer overview of transgender persons according to many religious and social conservatives:

Most conservatives view transgender persons as being "gender confused." For example,they view a MTF transgender person was identified as male at birth as still being male, but is now mentally confused about their gender.

When the Bible was written, its authors knew nothing about X and Y sex chromosomes, brain structures, etc. They defined gender solely according to a person's external sexual organs. Many religious and social conservatives today believe that the Bible is inerrant. Thus, they follow the same definitions as the Bible used. They regard transgender individuals as being -- at a minimum -- gender confused, and perhaps mentally ill.

Whatever President Trump's actual belief is, his prime directive is to be re-elected. Thus, actively discriminating against transgender persons can be expected to increase his political support among his base, which has a large contingent of religious and social conservatives.

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This topic continues in the next essay

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References used:

The following information sources were used to prepare and update the above essay. The hyperlinks are not necessarily still active today.

  1. Mythili Sampathkumar, "Trump administration considers elimination of transgender recognition," The Independent, 2018-OCT-21, at: https://www.independent.co.uk/
  2. Robert M. Sapolsky, "Caught Between Male and Female," The Wall Street Journal, 2013-DEC-06, at: http://www.wsj.com/
  3. Tessa Vikander, "WHO move to reclassify transgender identity will reduce stigma and increase access to health care, B.C. advocates say," The Star/Vancouver, 2018-JUL-04, at: https://www.thestar.com/

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How you may have arrived here:

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Home > Human rights > Transgender persons > here

Home > Morality and ethics > Transgender persons > here

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Copyright Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Author:
B.A. Robinson
Originally posted on: 2018-OCT-23
Latest update: 2018-NOV-01.

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