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Defining your own gender

Lizzie Lipscomb, Feature Reporter

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In 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court made the extraordinary decision to legalize same-sex marriage in all 50 states. In this same year, Caitlyn Jenner came out to the public as transgender.
All of these events served as a monumental progression for the LGBTQIA+ community. It made us think society was socially advancing, right?
Think again.
Recently, the Trump Administration has voiced their new attempted policies regarding the LGBTQIA+ community and transgender rights. The Department of Health and Human Services wants to limit the umbrella of defining gender as regarded to your biological genitalia at birth.
Currently, gender can legally be defined by the individual’s choice, not exclusively their sex at birth.
However, this is not the first time Trump has shown prejudice towards the LGBTQIA+ community. He has also tried to ban transgender individuals from the military, and challenged their rights within the nations health care laws.
These are basic human rights that are being put in danger.
With these possible changes in the air, many people in the transgender community are fearful of the future and what it means for them.
It is important to recognize in the last few years we have been going completely back in time regarding social norms and acceptance in society. It is almost 2019 and people still believe you can ‘choose’ to be gay or ‘choose’ to be transgender.
Gender is not as simple of a concept as many may think it is. Defining gender goes beyond the limits and knowledge of scientific research. Understanding the biology behind defining gender identity is still yet to be completely developed.
This ignorance in individuals today is what causes a hateful and divided world.
A few years back, the Obama administration rewrote the legal concept of gender, and allowed people of the transgender community to be recognized as the gender they choose in federal programs.
Although many people didn’t agree with this nor accept it, it was a step in the right direction for society and something that needed to happen in order to normalize something that was so uncommonly recognized and talked about.
Whether or not the new gender policies pass, it doesn’t take away from the fact that they are being threatened, and that in itself is completely immoral.
Being able to define yourself in all aspect of your life is a right that everyone should have and should never be challenged.
People are allowed to define themselves in almost any way they want. Whether that be with your job, family, friends, opinions, clothes- it is all in the hands of the individual.
Gender is something extremely important and valuable to so many people, and the right to define that yourself despite what your birth certificate says is something incredibly vital and necessary.
Even if you do not understand the concept of gender in all its different forms, being open-minded in today’s society is essential, and change begins with you.

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Defining your own gender