Every few months, the media rolls out a new scary headline about LGBT rights being removed. You may remember the claim in 2017 that the CDC was banning the word “transgender” from their work, or in 2018 when the narrative was Trump taking away the ability for people to legally change their gender. None of these things actually happened, but the entirety of the LGBT community seemed to believe these media headlines, and never corrected themselves when they didn’t come to pass.
The most recent has hit during Pride Month, and nearly every LGBT person I know or have seen online has been shook by it, believing it at face value. Admittedly, even I blindly believed the recent lie that the Trump administration is revoking trans health protection. I’m ecstatic to inform you that this simply isn’t the case, and anyone trying to convince you otherwise is lying or is woefully misinformed. Let’s break it down.
The claim: The Trump Administration has overturned an Obama-era protection for transgender people in health care. This will lead to transgender people being denied health care for not only elective surgeries relating to transition, but also for serious health conditions.
The truth: The transgender protection that everyone is hysterical about being revoked was ruled against in court before Trump was even president. It was never law; therefore it is impossible for the Trump administration to revoke it. The mandate was struck down in 2016 before Trump was inaugurated, which means Obama was still president. In December of 2016 Judge Reed O’Connor in Texas, appointed by George W Bush, railed against the mandate saying the following:"The rule defines sex bias to include 'discrimination on the basis of gender identity and termination of pregnancy.'"
The mandate was attempted, again, in 2019 and overruled by another federal judge.
In fact, as Director of the Office for Civil Rights Roger Severino puts it, transgender people are already protected by various statutes that prevent discrimination in health care.
“Everyone deserves to be treated with respect and according to the law. Our dedication to our civil rights laws is as strong as ever," Severino recently clarified.
So what does all of this mean? This means that health care in terms of how it affects transgender people today is the exact same as it was in 2016. Nothing has been rolled back by the current administration. Trans people can still seek out doctors, surgeons, and medical professionals at the same capacity in which they always have.
While it’s perfectly valid to hold the opinion that the guidance that was struck down should be put into law, it is intellectually dishonest to run with the narrative that it was intentionally repealed by Trump to cause pain in the LGBT community. You cannot repeal something that was never there to begin with.
It is notable to state that the gravity of emotional manipulation on the LGBT community at the hands of the media. The media chose the four-year anniversary of the Pulse Nightclub shootings to blast this story out, causing mass hysteria and heartache.