Biden also called out anti-LGBTQ laws including the Texas law that criminalizes gender-affirming care being provided to transgender kids.
Trigger warning: This story contains themes of transphobia that some readers may find distressing.
President Joe Biden has assured the trans community that they have his support in the wake of many anti-LGBTQ laws being passed across the country. "We have your back," the President said in a video message. “To everyone celebrating Transgender Day of Visibility, I want you to know your president sees you,” he said. “Our entire administration sees you for who you are, made in the image of God and deserving in dignity, respect and support. But we know it’s hard when there are those out there who don’t see you and don’t respect you.” International Trans Day of Visibility is an annual awareness day that celebrates the accomplishments of transgender and gender nonconforming people while raising awareness of the work that still needs to be done to achieve trans justice, according to GLSEN.
Biden also addressed Texas law targeting transgender people. Last month, Texas governor, Greg Abbott announced via letter that he would criminalize gender-affirming care for transgender kids and consider it child abuse. Governor Abbott also said that parents providing gender-affirming care will be prosecuted as child abusers, reported Yahoo News. Providing gender-affirming care to their children will be considered a felony punishable by life in prison. “To parents of transgender children, affirming your child’s identity is one of the most powerful things you can do to keep them safe and healthy,” said Biden. “To any transgender American who’s struggling, please know you’re not alone. To parents and children alike, please ask for help and know this: You’re so brave, you belong and we have your back.”
Biden said the government would fight the anti-LGBTQ laws being passed across the country. “The onslaught of anti-transgender state laws attacking you and your families is simply wrong,” said Biden, reported ABC News. “This administration is standing up for you against all these hateful bills. And we’re committed to advancing transgender equality in the classroom, on the playing field, at work, in our military, and our housing and health care systems. Everywhere. Simply everywhere,” said Biden.
The White House announced that the Department of Health and Human Services will be the first federal agency to fly a trans pride flag. The White House acknowledged that there has been a spike in violence against the community. "Transgender women and girls—especially transgender women and girls of color—continue to face epidemic levels of violence, and 2021 marked the deadliest year on record for transgender Americans. Each of these lives lost was precious," read a proclamation by the White House, adding that it has started working on streamlining processes for transgender and nonbinary Americans in areas like education, travel and employment.
The administration also announced that the federal government will be more inclusive of transgender people. The government declared the introduction of a new gender X marker on applications for U.S. passports as well as gender-neutral airport scanners, among other things. The measures will be rolled out on April 11. Attorney General Merrick Garland said his Justice Department is "committed to combatting the hate crimes that target and terrorize the transgender community—particularly transgender women of color."
"Transgender individuals deserve to be able to live free from discrimination, harassment, violence and threats of violence," said Garland. "Transgender youth deserve to be loved and protected. And members of the transgender community deserve to be treated with dignity and respect." Representative Pramila Jayapal, who is the mother of a transgender child, wrote in Teen Vogue that the onus of protecting the trans community lay with the government. “The suffering of transgender children is not inevitable. It is our job—as leaders, as parents, as legislators—to push back on the attacks and to move us forward again toward true equality and justice,” she said.
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