NYT publishes an article revealing a leaked memorandum from the Department of Health and Human Services attempting to define "sex" under Title IX (the civil rights in education law) as being fixed, immutable, and based on genitals at birth, with all disputes settled through genetic testing. This would effectively remove gender-based discrimination from the category of sex-based discrimination, without establishing a separate category for it, and in opposition to both common decency and established science.


Deeper dive


The Sunlight Foundation publishes an article showing that the Trump administration has been laying the groundwork for such initiatives since earlier in the year, when it removed all mention of gender from the Health and Human Services website on sex-based discrimination under Title IX.



The Department of Justice informs the Supreme Court that gender-based workplace discrimination by employers is not illegal under its interpretation of current sex-based discrimination laws.


(For those keeping track, we now have work and school as spheres where protections are expressly being assaulted.)


The Guardian reveals that the US delegation to the United Nations is attempting to edit drafts of anti-trafficking laws to remove any mention of gender-based discrimination, in keeping with its push to oppose the concept that "woman" is a category one might enter in any way other than from birth, as based on genitals.


(This shows that even should some of us flee the country entirely, the US is committed to using its influence to continue making life difficult for us internationally.)

While only some of these injustices occurred this week, they're all hitting us at once. The overall feeling is of an already tenuous and conditional sense of protection crumbling down to bedrock, exposing us to a watchful but hidden gallery of predators, and putting captions to our ever-looping internal track of self-invalidation.

I actually fell asleep last night wondering for the first time in three years if I was maybe making all of this up about myself.

There's what the policies do, how they make us feel, and there's also what they mean to others. I worry about lightning bolts hurled by uncaring gods in the sky, but I also worry about emboldened bigots on the ground—and of the two, the latter pose a greater threat to my everyday safety.

I leave you with this press image, which supposed friends actually cited while telling me I was overreacting in the wake of his election, when I started Why We're Afraid.

We, as a nation, let him get away with calling this a show of support. It's almost like nobody really cared in the first place.

Donald Trump holding an upside-down rainbow flag with the words 'LGBTs for Trump' scrawled on it in marker.

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