Here's How To Support Trans Rights After Trump's Reported Gender Definition Proposal

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According to a report published yesterday by The New York Times, the Trump administration is considering an initiative that would threaten protections for transgender people under federal law. The Times obtained a reportedly leaked memo in which the Department of Health and Human Services reportedly moved to legally define gender under Title IX as "biological, immutable condition determined by genitalia at birth" and sex as "either male or female, unchangeable, and determined by the genitals that a person is born with." Many worry that these purported changes will work to erase the identities and undermine the rights of transgender and gender nonconforming individuals. Wondering what you can do to help impacted communities? Here's where to donate to support transgender rights, because you can still step up.

In a statement shared with Elite Daily, HHS National Spokesperson Caitlin Oakley says the department does not comment on "alleged, leaked documents," adding that "everyone deserves to be treated with respect" and saying that the HHS Office for Civil Rights would "enforce all laws as written and passed by Congress" prohibiting discrimination. Her statement also referenced the definition of sex under the Obama administration, saying in part,

The Obama administration’s broad definition of ‘sex’ was enjoined by a federal court on a nationwide basis in December 2016 and the Obama administration did not appeal. That court found that the Obama administration regulation was overbroad and inconsistent with the text of the 1972 Title IX law prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sex. The court order remains in full force and effect today and HHS is bound by it as we continue to review the issue.

Title IX is a federal law that prohibits discrimination, exclusion, or denial of benefits in educational programs and activities on the basis of sex. It applies to institutions that receive federal funding, including state and local education agencies. If the change described in the reported memo is implemented, it would mean that federal agencies would not legally recognize a person's gender to be anything other than the one based on genitalia at birth, which would limit the legal recognition of trans and non-binary identities and potentially undermine protections against discrimination.

With this in mind, here are seven places that work to support transgender and gender nonconforming people. Consider donating your time or money.

Trans Lifeline
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The Trans Lifeline is a national, trans-led organization that offers emotional and financial support to transgender communities, including undocumented and incarcerated transgender people. For transgender and questioning people in need of emotional support, the crisis hotline is staffed by extensively trained transgender volunteers and is open 24/7. For those with financial need, the Trans Lifeline Microgrants program works with folks to cover the costs of updating passports, IDs, immigration documents and more to accurately reflect an individual's gender. Here's where you can donate a one-time or recurring amount, and here's where you can find volunteer opportunities.

Trans Women of Color Collective
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The Trans Women of Color Collective's mission is to "uplift the narratives, lived experiences and leadership of trans and gender non-conforming people of color, our families and comrades as we build towards collective liberation for all oppressed people." The organization works in three areas: health and wellness, advocacy and leadership, and visibility. TWOCC, which is led by trans women of color, works all across the country and uses different kinds of funds to positively impact the lives of those they work with. Here's where you can donate a one-time or recurring amount.

National Center for Transgender Equality
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The National Center for Transgender Equality advocates societal and policy change to increase the understanding and acceptance of transgender people. Some of their projects include a Racial and Economic Justice Initiative, a Trans Legal Services Network, Voices for Trans Equality, and Families for Trans Equality. NCTE envisions a world "in which transgender people not only survive, but thrive, with accepting families and communities, full self-determination over their identities and bodies, and freedom from disrespect, discrimination and violence." Here's where you can donate a one-time or recurring amount.

Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund
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The Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund is a nonprofit aiming to end discrimination and achieve equality for transgender and non-binary people by offering pro-bono name change services and drafting briefs for courts covering issues spanning from employment to healthcare to public accommodations. Here's where you can donate a one-time or recurring amount and here's where you can find internship opportunities.

Transgender Law Center
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The Transgender Law Center's mission is to change "law, policy, and attitudes so that all people can live safely, authentically, and free from discrimination regardless of their gender identity or expression." The organization works on policy issues for transgender individuals including family law, prisons and policing, and housing. Transgender folks can access basic legal information over the phone in both English and Spanish. Here's where you can donate a one-time or recurring amount and here's where you can find volunteer opportunities.

The Trevor Project
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While not trans-specific, The Trevor Project is an LGBTQ+ organization that provides crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to people under 25. The organization is also committed to bringing new research to the field of suicidology and life-affirming programs. Here's where you can donate a one-time or recurring amount and here's where you can learn about volunteer opportunities.

TransLatin@ Coalition
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The TransLatin@ Coalition aims to advocate for the specific needs of the trans Latinx community. Their values include altruism, transparency, pluralism, and social justice and their Los Angeles-based services include food distribution, a drop-in center, leadership development, and ESL classes. The organization also has representation in Washington, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Minnesota, New York, Texas, Arizona, Mexico City, and Washington, D.C. Here's where you can donate a one-time or recurring amount and here's where you can apply to get involved.

The Audre Lord Project
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The Audre Lord Project's mission statement is to work towards community wellness and progressive social and economic justice. The organization serves lesbian, gay, bisexual, two spirit, trans and gender non conforming people of color, focusing on the New York City area. Their TransJustice program is specifically created by and for trans and gender non-conforming people of color. Here's where you can donate a one-time or recurring amount and here's where you can find information about volunteering.

Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network
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The Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network (GLSEN) aims to "improve an education system that too frequently allows its lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and questioning (LGBTQ) students to be bullied, discriminated against, or fall through the cracks." The organization conducts research, creates materials for educators, partners with community decision makers, and empowers students to affect change. Here's where you can donate a one-time or recurring amount.

2018 might be upsetting, but there's still bright spots. Any one — or all — of these organizations are doing important work to support the trans community, so if you're wondering how to help, this is a great start.