Gage Skidmore

“We have to protect all of our people.”

Elizabeth Warren has vowed to stop the United States from imprisoning trans women with men if she’s elected president.

The Democratic candidate, who has been an outspoken LGBTQ advocate from the start of her campaign, spoke at a rally in Marshallstown, Iowa on Sunday (12 January) and said the United States must “protect all of our people”.

“One of the things we have to think about as a nation—we have to stop putting trans women who are incarcerated into prisons with men where they are at risk,” she said in a powerful speech. “It is our responsibility.

“I will direct the Bureau of Prisons to end the Trump Administration’s dangerous policy of imprisoning transgender people in facilities based on their sex assigned at birth and ensure that all facilities meet the needs of transgender people.

Warren said this includes “providing medically necessary care, like transition-related surgeries, while incarcerated”.

Throughout her campaign, Warren has pledged to overturn Tr*mp’s ban on trans individuals serving in the military, to allow gay and bisexual men to donate blood and to ban ‘conversion therapy’ across the United States.

Last year, Warren received praise for listing the names of every trans women of colour killed this year in the United States.

At the LGBTQ Presidential Forum in Iowa, she was asked to tell the audience how she intends to improve LGBTQ rights for America if elected to the White House next year, to which she responded: “I’m not going to tell you. I’m going to show you.”

She then read aloud their names: “Dana Martin, Jazzaline Ware, Ashanti Carmon, Claire Legato, Muhlaysia Booker, Michelle Washington, Paris Cameron, Chynal Lindsey, Chanel Scurlock, Zoe Spears, Brooklyn Lindsey, Denali Berries Stuckey, Pebbles LaDime “Dime” Doe, Tracy Single, Bailey Reeves, Bee Love Slater and Ja’leyah-Jamar.”

“It is time for a President of the United States of America to say their names,” she said to a cheering audience.

Warren also made a surprise appearance at RuPaul’s DragCon in New York City  and drew attention to the ongoing violence against transgender individuals in the United States.

“We need to call it out, and we need to fight back,” she continued. “Everybody should be able to go to school, to work, to get healthcare, or just walk down the street without fear of discrimination or violence. Equal means equal, period.”

After urging American residents to vote, she said: “I’m in this fight for LGBTQ+ equality. We’ve got a lot of work to do to make sure everyone is free to be who they are and to love who they love.”

Related: Queer Eye star Jonathan Van Ness to campaign for Elizabeth Warren in Iowa.