Joe Biden sends message of solidarity to ‘brave’ trans youth: ‘Your president has your back during Pride month and beyond’
US president Joe Biden doubled down on his unwavering support for trans Americans at a time when Republicans are launching relentless attacks against them.
Amplifying his first address to a joint Congress in April, on Monday evening (7 June) Biden threw his weight behind the trans community.
“To transgender Americans across the country – especially the young people who are so brave – I want you to know your president has your back,” Biden tweeted.
“During Pride Month – and all the time.”
To transgender Americans across the country — especially the young people who are so brave — I want you to know your President has your back.
During Pride Month — and all the time.
— President Biden (@POTUS) June 7, 2021
Biden’s message to the trans community comes after a slate of reviled, GOP-backed bills designed to peel back trans rights made their way through countless statehouses this year, with activists rushing to raise the alarm on what has already become the “worst year for anti-LGBT+ legislation in recent history“.
Advocates, trans folk and parents and guardians of trans youth have watched in horror as lawmakers took aim at trans teens in particular, seeking to limit the school sports they can compete in and the gender-affirming care they have access to.
Joe Biden vows to fight for the LGBT+ community – but there remains much to do
Biden, throughout his presidential campaign, pledged to pass the Equality Act within his first 100 days in the White House.
As much as it did scrape a vote in the House in February, the coronavirus pandemic stalled the bill. It also now faces a Senate sharply divided along party lines, throwing the proposed measure’s future into question.
The Biden-Harris administration did quickly scrap many cruel Trump-era policies that curtailed trans rights after coming into office, however, such as binning a ban on trans folk being able to serve in the military and restoring LGBT+ healthcare protections.
Yet, alongside the Equality Act, there are other pledges that could greatly protect trans folk that Joe Biden has yet to act upon.
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Biden pledged to earmark federal resources towards preventing violence against trans women of colour, vowing to update FBI crime and homicide reports to include sexuality and gender identity or expression.
In providing local and state law enforcement with a more centralised database, the directive would provide police, policy planners and activists a more robust look at the extent of the violence trans folk face.
For now, the violence trans, non-binary and gender non-conforming Americans face continues to be greatly overlooked, with misgendering and deadnaming common in police and press reports.
At the time of writing, at least 28 trans people have been slain in the US this year alone – with advocacy groups predicting the final death toll will surpass that of 2020, which was the highest on record.
In less than six months the community has mourned: Tyianna Alexandra, Samuel Edmund Damián Valentín, Bianca Bankz, Dominique Jackson, Fifty Bandz, Alexus Braxton, Chyna Carrillo, Jeffrey ‘JJ’ Bright, Jasmine Cannady, Jenna Franks, Diamond ‘Kyree’ Sanders, Rayanna Pardo, Dominique Lucious, Jaida Peterson, Remy Fennell, Tiara Banks, Natalia Smüt, Iris Santos, Tiffany Thomas, Jahaira DeAlto Balenciaga, Keri Washington, Sophie Vásquez, Danny Henson, Whispering Bear Spirit, Serenity Hollis, Oliver ‘Ollie’ Taylor, Thomas Hardin and Poe Black.
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