Recent revisions to the Affordable Care Act from the Department of Health and Human services stated they are returning to “the government’s interpretation of sex discrimination according to the plain meaning of the word ‘sex’ as male or female and as determined by biology.”
“The new rule allows shelter providers that lawfully operate as single-sex or sex-segregated facilities to voluntarily establish a policy that will govern admissions determinations for situations when an individual’s gender identity does not match their biological sex,” according to Vox, which puts transgender people at risk of being misgendered, penalised and discriminated against when looking for government funded aid and accommodation – or completely turned down by these institutions all together.
The rule was proposed by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). This is despite HUD secretary, Ben Carson, declaring that they had no “current anticipation” to change the equal access rule in 2019.
As policing around gender has been heavily implemented by the Tr*mp administration, whilst more and more anti-trans legislation is put into place, it’s difficult to find optimism.
These ideas oppose the current pop-culture climate, which seems to becoming more aware and inviting of queer culture.
With COVID-19 and the housing situation being frightful, apprehending notions previously mentioned is worrying and almost unfathomable.
Less than half of the states in America implemented renters rights during the first two months of the pandemic. However, this did not stop landlords from attempting to wrongfully evict tenants who could not pay their rent from April.
With lockdown ending, the 40% of states who offered renting rights will no longer offer support to those who aren’t able to cover their cost of living, from the 25th of July.
Regarding Tr*mp’s implementation of the rule, “Factors such as height, the presence (but not the absence) of facial hair, the presence of an Adam’s apple, and other physical characteristics which, when considered together, are indicative of a person’s biological sex,” will be a guide on how to distinguish transgender people, from cis people for those in attempting to implement the rule.
This regulation of the trans community by legislation oppresses trans expression, assumes gender conforming norms and distances the trans community from seeking help from government funded spaces (even if they need assistance getting back on their feet after the pandemic).
According to the National Center for Transgender Equality, “29 percent of trans people live in poverty, and one in five trans people in the US will be homeless at some point in their lifetimes.” This means the spaces which transgender people need the most are being targeted to implement rules which completely overlook their well-being and challenge their rights as a person.
Despite this, listed below are US based organisations that serve the LGBTQ+ community when it comes to finding shelter, accommodation and therapy.
It’s important to find your safe space. Although there are forces working against us, we must keep our hopes up and skin thick. Change is possible and change will come.