Jennings, like many transgender Americans, has his rights on the forefront of his mind this upcoming election.
“This presidency, if they get another four years, what are they going to be able to do then?” he said about President Donald Trump’s administration, which has been widely criticized by lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer advocates for rolling back trans rights and protections.
Ebony Harper, the director of the transgender wellness organization California TRANScends, said the stakes in the November election couldn't be higher for her and other trans Americans.
Since the beginning of Trump's first term, civil rights advocates have been sounding the alarm on the administration's policies pertaining to LGBTQ rights— particularly those of transgender people.
Commission on Civil Rights — which concluded the administration was broadly “undoing decades of civil and human rights progress” — the commission cited the administration’s 2017 reversal of transgender bathroom protections in public schools, its efforts to eliminate transgender health protections from the Affordable Care Act and its unsuccessful argument that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act does not protect transgender workers.
“This administration has done a tremendous amount of things to attack people like me and have made life very scary for me,” Jennings said.
Jennings listed many of the administration's actions cited in the Commission on Civil Rights report, including Trump’s ban on transgender Americans serving openly in the military, as reasons for his fear.
“We have to vote in other people's interests, not just in our own political interests,” said Harper, who is concerned that young trans people feel unsafe and should be thought of when voting in the upcoming election.
Byers, who would be the first transgender person in the Kansas Legislature if she’s victorious, said that while her gender identity comes up on the trail, she thinks Americans are becoming more accepting
“It may take us a little more time, but we’ll get there,” Byers said about trans equality
Harper said trans people have the support from the American public to effect change
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