Rutgers rally sees students speak out against Trump memo that would re-define gender
On Friday, several Rutgers LGBTQ+ organizations held a rally on the steps of Brower Commons from 5:30 to 6 p.m. in response to a memo from President Donald J. Trump’s administration that proposed gender would be identified either male or female based on one’s genitalia at birth.
This change would apply to protections granted under Title IX.
Supporters of the community believe that gender is not decided at birth, and that transgender people are entitled to the same rights as everyone else. If the proposal were to be implemented, transgender people, according to the federal government, would not exist.
The administration is proposing its definition of gender because key government agencies need to adopt an explicit and uniform definition that is objective and administrable, according to an from The New York Times.
Participants started multiple chants, including “We have power, we have pride, trans-people united side by side!” Another was “Hey, hey! Ho, ho! Transphobia has got to go!”
June Lyons, a School of Arts and Sciences junior and president of the LGBTQ+ club Transmissions, said that this past week, people have been afraid.
After everything that came out regarding the issue, Lyons said it really pushed people in their group to organize and do something in response.
This event was important not just for discussing the Trump memo, but for spreading awareness in general, Lyons said.
“Transmissions doesn’t really throw a lot of these together,” Lyons said. “Normally, our community outreach is very private and personal. But, it’s really great to send out a message like this and maybe we’ll do more.”
Skylar Kenny, a School of Arts and Sciences senior and co-president of the Rutgers Queer Student Alliance, said that attending the rally was important and that seeing the one-of-many queer organizations on campus stand up for transgender people was beneficial, especially with transgender people leading the rally.
Kenny said that being at the rally in solidarity with a supportive community is powerful and helpful in getting through difficult times.
“I have a lot of love for these people,” Kenny said. “And I’m really happy to see everybody still keeping it together, during all this.”
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