POTUS/Twitter Joe Biden
President Joe Biden on Thursday marked Transgender Day of Visibility with a message to transgender Americans and the announcement of new measures aimed at supporting them.
Among the measures unveiled this week are a new "X" gender marker on U.S. passport applications beginning on April 11, new Transportation Security Administration scanners that are gender-neutral, and more resources for transgender kids and their families.
In a videotaped statement posted to Twitter, Biden, 79, addressed transgender Americans directly, saying, "our entire administration sees you for who you are: made in the image of God and deserving of dignity, respect and support."
"Visibility matters, and so many transgender, nonbinary, and gender nonconforming Americans are thriving," Biden said. "Like never before, they are sharing their stories in books and magazines; breaking glass ceilings of representation on television and movie screens; enlisting — once again —to serve proudly and openly in our military; getting elected and making policy at every level of government; and running businesses, curing diseases, and serving our communities in countless other ways."
Still, Biden noted that transgender Americans — particularly transgender women and girls of color — "continue to face epidemic levels of violence, and 2021 marked the deadliest year on record for transgender Americans."
"We must honor their lives with action by advancing equity and civil rights for all transgender people," he said.
Biden went on to address "an onslaught of anti-transgender state laws," calling them "simply wrong."
Over 25 different pieces of legislation have been proposed this year by Republican-led state governments that restrict transgender children from getting health care.
Meanwhile, Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Idaho, Iowa, Mississippi, Montana, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas and West Virginia have implemented bans against transgender athletes.
Biden continued: "To any transgender American who's struggling, please know you're not alone. To parents and children alike, please ask for help. And know this: You're so brave. You belong. And we have your back."
To transgender Americans of all ages, I want you to know that you are so brave. You belong. I have your back. pic.twitter.com/mD4F0m3rU1
— President Biden (@POTUS) March 31, 2022
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Still, Biden said his administration believes there is more work to be done, pointing to his support of The Equality Act, a bill that would ban discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, which is among one of his top legislative priorities, according to remarks he made on the campaign trail. (The bill faces opposition in Congress from Republicans who have honed in on transgender rights as a cultural flashpoint.)
A fact sheet from the White House describes the Equality Act as "key to addressing the epidemic levels of violence and discrimination that transgender people face."
Last year, the Biden administration kicked off the return of Pride commemorations, which had all but disappeared at the White House under the previous president (the Trump administration recognized Pride Month in 2019, though not with an official presidential proclamation).
Since assuming office in January, Biden has worked to reverse many of the Trump administration's anti-LGBTQ policies, overturning a ban on transgender people serving in the military and issuing an executive order to protect transgender students.