President Donald Trump has sparked protests across the nation after it was revealed that his administration is looking to define sex as based on genitalia a person has at birth — which potentially could eliminate the legal recognition of transgender people.
Outraged by the potential decision, Caitlyn Jenner, who is a Republican, is speaking out.
“The Trump administration has ferociously attacked my community again. Just as an FYI Mr. President— the military is the single largest employer of trans people in the world. This leaked memo is an unacceptable attack on my community,” Jenner, 68, told PEOPLE.
“We will not be erased!”
On Sunday, The New York Times revealed in a memo obtained by the outlet that the Department of Health and Human Services wants to create a uniform definition of sex under Title IX, which is the act banning discrimination based on a person’s sex in federally funded education programs.
In the memo, the department is arguing for a new legal definition of sex that is “determined by genitalia at birth” and as something that cannot be changed.
“The agency’s proposed definition would define sex as either male or female, unchangeable, and determined by the genitals that a person is born with, according to the memo reviewed by The Times. Any dispute about one’s sex would have to be clarified using genetic testing,” the outlet reported.
“Sex means a person’s status as male or female based on immutable biological traits identifiable by or before birth,” the memo states, according to NYT. “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.”
This would mean that those who identify as a gender not aligned with the genitals they had at birth would not be recognized as the gender they live as nor would they have the same protection against discrimination.
According to The Times, “health and human services is preparing to formally present the new definition to the Justice Department before the end of the year, Trump administration officials say.”
“If the Justice Department decides that the change is legal,” the outlet reported, “the new definition can be approved and enforced in Title IX statutes, and across government agencies.”
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Jenner, who confirmed she underwent gender confirmation surgery in January 2017 after revealing her new identity as Caitlyn in June 2015, voted for Trump in the 2016 election on what she thought was a promise of continued progress for LGBTQ rights.
However, since Trump took office Jenner has had a change of heart following POTUS’ failed attempt to stop transgender people from enrolling in the military and his move to lift federal protections for transgender students that would guarantee their freedom to use public school bathrooms and locker rooms matching their chosen identity.
“I honestly don’t know what happened when he got in there,” Jenner told Variety in August. “It was extraordinarily disappointing.”
Despite her changed feelings towards Trump, Jenner is hopeful she can make an impact by being on the Republican side.
Jenner explained to Variety that she regularly makes trips to Washington, D.C. and has had long meetings with roughly 50 members of the House and Senate and many members of Trump’s White House directly.
I think it’s a good thing that I’m on the Republican side because I’ve got an in,” she said to Variety. “Has this administration set us backwards? Absolutely. And every time they’ve done it, I’ve fought it. …. I fight those types of wars. I fight the equality wars. I do it all very quietly. We’re going to be okay in the end.”
She added: “What’s going on in Washington D.C. is just disgraceful. The hate, the media, all the things that are going on there. … [Trump’s] not been doing a very good job, but it’s not over yet.”