The internet, including celebrities, have hit out at Donald Trump for his decision to revoke federal protections for trans students.
On Wednesday, the Education and Justice Departments said they would no longer instruct schools to allow trans students to use facilities that correspond with their gender identity, effectively reversing a policy put in place by the Obama administration that extended civil rights laws to cover transgender people. Obama officials had extended Title IX provisions, which have outlawed discrimination based on sex since 1972, to also protect gender identity.
Following this news, Trump’s Press Secretary Sean Spicer explained that “certain issues like this are not best dealt with at the federal level”, giving a boost to states that want to pass anti-trans laws.
Since the announcement, a growing number of celebrities have taken to social media to criticize the decision. Patricia Arquette, sister to deceased trans actress and activist Alexis Arquette, said that the decision could lead to increases in bullying which can result in an increase of trans students killing themselves.
Ellen, who received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from Obama before he left office, effectively issued a call to arms to ensure all supporters of the LGBT community continued to fight for trans students.
Former Matilda star, Mara Wilson, who came out as bisexual last year, said: “Do not sleep on Transgender rights rollbacks, especially if you are LGBQ. One of the most vulnerable populations NEEDS SUPPORT.”
Apple, one of the biggest companies in the US, hit out at the decision. A statement said:
“Apple believes everyone deserves a chance to thrive in an environment free from stigma and discrimination. We support efforts toward greater acceptance, not less, and we strongly believe that transgender students should be treated as equals. We disagree with any effort to limit or rescind their rights and protections.”
Long-time republican and transgender activist, Caitlyn Jenner, also spoke out. Following the announcement, Jenner, who has been told by Trump himself that she could use any bathroom she wanted at his Trump Tower in New York City, released a video statement on various social media platforms.
— Caitlyn Jenner (@Caitlyn_Jenner) February 24, 2017
“I have a message for the trans kids of America: You’re winning. I know it doesn’t feel like it today or every day, but you’re winning,” Jenner said. “Very soon we will win full freedom nation-wide and it’s going to be with bipartisan support. You can help by checking out the National Center for Transgender Equality and letting Washington hear you loud and clear.”
After a few words aimed at “bullies,” Jenner ended her statement by speaking directly to President Trump: “I have a message for President Trump from one Republican to another. This is a disaster. And you can still fix it. You made a promise to protect the LGBTQ community. Call me.”
Republicans need help understanding LGBTQ 🏳️🌈 issues and I'm here to help!
— Caitlyn Jenner (@Caitlyn_Jenner) January 18, 2017