Soon Transgender Americans Will Be Able to Claim Asylum in Foreign Countries
The persecution of Transgender Individuals remains ongoing, as the various state and federal branches the US governments continue to redact laws protecting us, and introducing new laws that directly threaten our physical, mental and emotional safety.
Although President Donald J. Trump had claimed he would be an ally to the LGBT community during his campaign, stating “I will do everything to protect LGBT Americans,” his statements on the campaign trail grew increasingly hostile and divisive. It soon became clear that in pursuit of appealing to his deeply conservative, radically religious base, he would begin targeting Trans identifying Americans.
And he did, immediately. In February, 2017, one of the first executive orders President Trump signed after occupying the White House was the redaction of protections Former President Barack Obama implemented for Transgender Students. The federal order afforded Trans identifying students the confidence to use bathrooms and locker rooms in coordinance with their gender identity in learning establishments without having to fear for their safety. Essentially, the withdraw of the order for Trans Rights endorsed discrimination against Transgender Americans once again. This act alone emboldened the prejudices and bigotry that resulted in a spike of physical hate crimes committed against Transwomen across America.
It didn’t stop there. Trump and his loyalists intended to keep Transgender Americans in their cross-hairs. On July 27th, he announced via twitter that he was reinstating the ban on Transgender Americans serving in any branch of the Military. It was the first time in history a President had introduced Military Policy, via twitter, pocked with grossly inaccurate statements;
The President cited Transgender service people as “Disruptions” and claimed their medical costs exceeded that of traditional members of service. A 2016 Rand Study concluded that gender transitional healthcare coverage for military members would increase the cost to 8.4 million dollars, a tiny fraction of the Pentagon’s overall 49.3 Billion dollar healthcare expenditures. It sparked criticism from both Democrats and Republicans, however, Trump was relentless in his intent to reinstate the ban. It was later revealed that he had unilaterally made this decision without holding any counsel with the Department of Defense who found it just as surprising as the rest of the world, claiming they were blindsided by the President’s missives; “It’s news to us, and we will proceed enlisting Transgender service people until told otherwise by lawmakers.” Ultimately, A federal judge blocked the Transgender Military ban, which was then appealed by the Trump administration, only to have it blocked again. He is still trying to enforce their removal from military service as of this writing.
The American Military is full of Trump Supporters, and because of his rejected effort to excise Transgender patriots and failing, many Trans service members returned to find themselves in combative work environments where they were exposed to verbal attacks and alienation by Trump aligned colleagues who- not only agreed with him- but resented them for showing up to work in spite of him. Once again, the President had stoked the ire of hatred toward Transgender Americans, this time in our own military. He deliberately made it difficult for them to flourish in a hostile environment that he had intentionally created.
On December 15th, 2017, Trump’s mission to further disenfranchise and endanger the lives of Transgender folks culminated in his decision to Ban the word “Transgender” from any correspondence between the CDC to the White House. Along with 6 other words; “diversity,” “fetus,” “vulnerable,” “entitlement,” “science-based” and “evidence-based,” Trump was creating rules that would be met with mass approval from his wealthy, white, straight, Cisgender and — more importantly, religious voters. The repercussions from this decision are far reaching. Not only are Transgender Americans a vulnerable people, but now we will be excluded from vital dialog regarding our health and healthcare, or, in fact, any official exchanges that could lead to the improvements in practices, such as advanced medical training for physicians and nurses interfacing with Transgender identifying patients. We are not allowed to be referenced, discussed or addressed by our own government. This puts our community at great risk and only amplifies the message from the President that Transgender people are not human beings, and we will not be acknowledged as such in the United states. His loyal fans received this message loud and clear… and they interpreted it as permission to abuse Transgender people without consequence.
To compound these heinous actions, Trump has also populated his cabinet with Anti-LGBT evangelicals with little experience in politics, as well as notoriously anti-LGBT politicians who have historically voted against any pro-LGBT bills. Another example of his complete lack of conscience was his aggressive campaign launched on behalf of Alabama Senatorial candidate, Roy Moore, a man who claimed that homosexuality should be criminalized and said; “Lesbians, gay, bisexual and Transgender people are trying to change our culture.”
Trump not only backed Moore’s candidacy with speeches and robocalls, he also dragged the Republican National Committee into spending money on Moore’s behalf, despite Moore having multiple sexual allegations made against him by women dating back 30 years, including the solicitation of a teenager, which resulted in his banning from local malls. He was viewed locally as a predator. Trump didn’t care about his past. He only cared about his politics that aligned with his own. The anti-Trans, anti-gay movement was something he knew Moore would lend his support and his vote to while in senate.
We could also discuss the North Carolina Bathroom Bill, or, House Bill 2, which prohibited Transgender men and women from using any public restroom facility. It was introduced by Governor Pat McCrory during Trump’s presidential campaign and received a lot of resistance from democrats, but tremendous support from Trump supporters. I spoke out on twitter, posting my photo and asking Mr. McCrory if he thought I should share a bathroom with men. Unfortunately, that tweet was picked up by the news media with the headline “LGBT Activists Sue North Carolina Officials Over Controversial Bathroom Law.” I awoke one morning to hundreds of messages on facebook and twitter. After a bit of investigating, I found the article which had been reprinted around the world and in many languages. Scrolling down the page briefly reveals my photograph. It was a little misleading for those who just skimmed the text, but resulted in me getting hundreds of messages and death threats because of my inclusion in said article. I was called mentally ill, someone wished I’d get cancer, I was called a pedophile, and threatened with eternal torture in the fiery pits of hell.
I also received one or two marriage proposals.
However, the negative far outweighed the positive and I found myself inundated with unprovoked hatred by those who assumed I was suing the state for the right to use a toilet. It was a real eye-opener for me, specifically, to witness such rampant hatred toward Trans people on the grounds of simply needing a bathroom.
Since Trump assumed power, violence against Transwomen and LGB Americans has hit record numbers as Trump supporters feel suddenly empowered by him, his vulgar language and his intentions to create an America where we have no place. They perceive his administrative actions and lawmaking via twitter as justification for their attacks on us. They believe that their prejudice is sanctioned by the American President… It is.
I suppose that’s an easy assumption to make given that President Trump, on his never ending campaign to secure a second term, spoke at the Value Voters Summit, the first President in history to do so. The Value Voters Summit is a convention of radical evangelicals who are frighteningly anti-gay and anti-trans. During his speech, he declared to his eager fanbase; “We don’t worship government, we worship God.”
The President stood stage-side and applauded as preachers who took to the podium passionately declared homosexuality a disease. Trump proceeded to openly praised Tony Perkins, president of the event’s sponsor, the Family Research Council, as a “tremendous guy.” Perkins took credit for advising Trump on his extreme, anti-Trans legislation. He also stated that he wanted to prohibit Trans people from enrolling in Obamacare. Tremendous guy, though, according to Trump.
It should be noted that the Family Research Council is classified as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.
During the convention, anti-gay pamphlets were distributed to attendees as Trump proudly declared the forthcoming Religious Liberty Bill which gives federal employees and contractors the ability to claim religious objections to their duties, constituting a broad license to discriminate against LGBT people and others who might offend their religious sensibilities.
And if that wasn’t bad enough, a year to the date after taking office, he vowed to pass a law that would allow Medical Healthcare professionals the right to refuse treatment to Transgender patients on religious grounds. The top civil rights official at the Department of Health and Human Services is creating the Division of Conscience and Religious Freedom to protect doctors, nurses and other health care workers who refuse to take part in procedures like abortion or treat certain people, especially gay and Trans people, because of moral or religious objections.
Abbreviated; If a Trans person needs emergency medical care in the United States and falls into the unfortunate care of a religious doctor, that doctor can let them die and suffer no consequences because he is protected by this bill.
With Transgender men and women finding themselves at the mercy of a maniacal president who is putting their lives in danger at home, in the workplace, at school, and intentionally creating a culture in America where we are living at odds with the majority, many who wish us harm, we’ve come to the point now where we actually qualify to claim Asylum in another country.
From The United Nations;
Article 14 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that “Everyone has the right to seek and to enjoy in other countries asylum from persecution.” The United Nations 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees and the 1967 Protocol Relating to the Status of Refugees guides national legislation concerning political asylum. Under these agreements, a refugee (or for cases where repressing base means has been applied directly or environmentally to the refugee) is a person who is outside their own country’s territory (or place of habitual residence if stateless) owing to fear of persecution on protected grounds. Protected grounds include race, caste, nationality, religion, political opinions and membership and/or participation in any particular social group or social activities. Rendering true victims of persecution to their persecutor is a particularly odious violation of a principle called non-refoulement, part of the customary and trucial Law of Nations.
Because of Donald Trump’s virulent, unyeilding attacks on Transgender Americans by creating laws, introducing bills, redacting protections and nurturing a society in which we cannot co-exist peacefully or safely due to his venomous propaganda, we are, by the definition of the United Nations a minority of people that must be protected from acts of oppression, inhumane conduct, or a dangerous cultural environment created by government leaders in our homeland wherein our safety is threatened.
This week alone, The state of Akansas is attempting to make being Transgender illegal. State lawmakers are currently discussing three bills: House Bill 1986, House Bill 1894, and Senate Bill 774. If all three pass, it could force trans people out of a majority of public life because their existence would effectively be illegal.
SB774 is Arkansa’s version of North Carolina’s controversial HB2 ‘bathroom bill’. Called the Arkansas Physical Privacy and Safety Act, it would require trans people to use public bathrooms matching the gender marker on their birth certificate.
It would apply to all government and other state-owned buildings. And it’s only the tip of an iceberg of transphobic laws. HB 1986 would expand existing Arkansas law and allow a person to press charges against trans people under indecent exposure laws.
That’s right. You will go to jail for being Transgender.
How desperately sad that America has forgotten much of what it once stood for. Immigrants trailing through Ellis Island once saw the US as the land of the free and the home of the brave; A place where anyone can prosper with equal opportunity. That place no longer exists. Now we are inundated with talk of travel bans and walls. All the while, Trump is already building walls within America already, dividing those who possess a modicum of common sense and compassion from those indoctrinated into radical religion and consumed by bigotry. The constitution itself has become obsolete.
That Transgender men and women, to be safe, must consider leaving their home country, or risk staying and suffering the dehumanizing abuse at the hands of a violent regime is heartbreaking.