Gaga attacks Trump gender plan

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Gaga attacks Trump gender plan

Singer hits out at removal of Obama-era protections for trans people


‘Ignorant’: Singer Lady Gaga. Photo credit: Ian West/PA Wire
‘Ignorant’: Singer Lady Gaga. Photo credit: Ian West/PA Wire

Lady Gaga has lashed out at Donald Trump after it emerged his administration had drawn up plans to change how gender is defined.

The controversial move – which would see gender defined as male or female based on genitalia at birth – would have profound consequences for transgender and non-binary people.

It would mean they would not be able to change their gender in legal terms later in life and remove Barack Obama-era protections for transgender people under US civil rights laws in health care, schools and the military.

Mr Trump defended the proposals when asked about campaign promises to the LGBT community and said: “I’m protecting everybody. I want to protect our country.”

Unchangeable

Under a proposal first reported by the ‘New York Times’ on Sunday, the Trump administration would narrow the definition of gender to male or female at birth and it would be unchangeable later in life.

About 1.4 million US adults identify as transgender, according to a 2016 estimate by the Williams Institute, a research centre at UCLA Law School focused on sexual orientation and gender identity law and public policy.

But singer Lady Gaga accused the US government of “being driven by ignorance”.

She tweeted: “The government may be living in an alternate universe, but we as a society & culture know who we are and know our truth and must stick together and raise our voices so we can educate them about gender identities.

“While today you might feel unheard or unseen, know that this is not the reality of humanity. This is another display of leadership being driven by ignorance.”

She added the hashtags #TransRightsAreHumanRights #WontBeErased.

The unreleased memo from the US Department for Health and Human Service was first reported by the ‘New York Times’.

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It reportedly states: “The sex listed on a person’s birth certificate, as originally issued, shall constitute definitive proof of a person’s sex unless rebutted by reliable genetic evidence.”

Aside from the cultural and moral issues raised by the leaked memo, doctors argued the laws would be impossible to apply to intersex babies who are born with reproductive or sexual anatomy that do not fit conventional categories.

Many transgender people feel the gender assigned to them at birth was wrong and either transition or live a non-binary life.

Doctors and scientists agree sex and gender aren’t always the same thing.

But variation in gender identity is a normal part of human diversity, the American Academy of Paediatrics (AAP) stresses in a new policy that outlines how to provide supportive medical care for transgender youth.

Brain

“Sex” typically refers to anatomy while “gender goes beyond biology,” says Dr Jason Rafferty, a paediatrician and child psychiatrist at Hasbro Children’s Hospital in Rhode Island, and lead author of the AAP’s transgender policy.

Gender identity is more an inner sense of being male, female or somewhere in between – regardless of physical anatomy, he explained. It may be influenced by genetics and other factors, but it’s more about the brain than the sex organs.

Transgender is a term accepted across science and medical groups to mean people whose gender identity doesn’t match what Dr Rafferty calls their “sex assigned at birth”.

Generally, people are born with two sex chromosomes that determine anatomical sex – XY for males and XX for females.

But even here there are exceptions that would confound any either-or political definition.

People who are “intersex” are born with a mix of female and male anatomy, internally and externally.

Irish Independent

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