October 25, 2018
The American Art Therapy Association (AATA) firmly rejects a reported proposal by the Trump/Pence Administration to redefine sex in civil rights law to eliminate anti-discrimination protections for transgender people. The new definition proposed by the Department of Health and Human Services in a memo reported by The New York Times on October 21, 2018, would redefine sex in Title IX of the Civil Rights Act as either male or female, based on a person’s sex organs at birth. The claim that this definition would be “grounded in science” ignores findings of decades of scientific research widely accepted by the medical community.
This proposed change in definition would rollback protections and deny individuals’ identities and is in direct conflict with the AATA’s mission, vision, and values. The AATA joins numerous social and civil human rights organizations and mental and medical health associations to unequivocally oppose this atrocious reported proposal. A definition change of this kind would, if widely adopted by federal departments, would impact the most vulnerable members of the LGBTQIA community, among these are students and individuals who are incarcerated, insecurely housed, or struggling with physical and mental health issues such as depression, suicidality, and isolation. The AATA stands firmly in support of the transgender and gender non-conforming (TGNC) communities and continues to reject each individual effort the Administration makes to systematically rollback protections for these communities.
We urge the Administration and federal agencies to wholeheartedly reject any efforts to eliminate existing civil rights protections at a time when our most vulnerable communities are in need of support and not another avenue for systemic marginalization.
We encourage art therapists and LGBTQIA allies to engage in support of the TGNC communities. To join the conversation online, we suggest using the hashtag #WontBeErased and visiting the following resources:
- APA Decries Apparent Administration Attempt to Erase Transgender Definition in Federal Programs
- Lambda Legal: Trump Administration Effort to Erase Transgender Americans Will Not Stand
- ACLU Statement On Reports Of Trump Administration Attacks On Transgender People
- NELP: Trump Administration’s Extreme Proposal On Gender: A Disgraceful Attack On Transgender People, Equality, And Justice
- HRC: Trump-Pence Admin Reportedly Planning to Erase Non-Discrimination Protections for LGBTQ People
- AMA: Policies on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender & Queer (LGBTQ) Issues
- NCTE: Federal Case Law on Transgender People and Discrimination
- The Trevor Project offers a 24/7/365 Lifeline at 866-4-U-TREVOR (866-488-7386), TrevorChat, online instant messaging option, and TrevorText, a text-based support.
- Pride Month: Here’s What Art Therapists Need to Know
- The AATA Supports the Affirmation and Healthy Development Across the Lifespan of Individuals within LGBTQIA Communities
- The AATA Supports Inclusivity and Equal Opportunity for Transgender People