Mar 31 • 9M

Finally, Some Good News On Trans Rights

Pres. Biden releases numerous new policies.

Charlotte Clymer
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Charlotte Clymer is a writer and LGBTQ advocate. You've probably seen her on Twitter (@cmclymer). This is the podcast version of her blog "Charlotte's Web Thoughts", which you can subscribe to here: charlotteclymer.substack.com
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(Credit: Drew Angerer / Getty Staff)

Good morning, and Happy Transgender Day of Visibility!

Since 2009, March 31st has been a day to celebrate the trans and non-binary community—now celebrated worldwide—and you can thank activist Rachel Crandall for that. Thank you, Rachel!

It’s been a really tough few years, and the past year, in particular, has been—well, no one word really captures the feeling. Horrific? Depressing? Demoralizing?

That’s why I’m thrilled to share with y’all the following news released by the Biden Administration this morning.

A few hours ago, the White House and federal agencies put out a number of wonderful announcements about trans rights, and I'm so excited to tell you about them because today should be about trans and non-binary joy.

1. The State Department announced that starting on April 11th, U.S. citizens will be able to select "X" as a non-binary gender marker on passports. They are the first federal agency to codify this inclusive policy. Applicants can already self-select w/o medical documentation.

2. TSA announced that they are updating their body scanners at airport security to move away from tech that has led to trans and non-binary travelers experiencing frequent discrimination, reducing unnecessary and invasive and humiliating body searches. So excited for this!!!

3. TSA is also:

-- Working with airlines to implement non-binary markers during the flight booking process
-- Removing gender considerations with validating traveler info at airport security
-- Including non-binary markers during TSA Precheck enrollment + CBP Trusted Traveler

4. Department of Health and Human Services released a new website that offers resources and guidance for LGBTQ youth and families, to counteract several GOP-led state governments removing such resources from their own websites in recent months.

5. The Department of Education's Office of Safe and Supportive Schools is expanding trainings with more resources to educate school leaders and communities about the challenges facing trans and non-binary youth and their families.

6. HHS's Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration released "LGBTQI+ Youth – Like All Americans, They Deserve Evidence-Based Care" to affirm the critical need of gender-affirming care for trans and non-binary youth.

7. The National Child Traumatic Stress Network, which falls under HHS, has released "new information for providers confirming that providing gender-affirming care is neither child maltreatment nor malpractice". This is incredibly helpful.

8. The Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health has developed a resource to inform parents and guardians, educators, and other persons supporting children and adolescents with information on gender-affirming care, what it does, and why it’s so critical to saving lives.

9. The Social Security Administration is announcing that it is removing the requirement that transgender people show proof of identity such as doctor’s notes in order to update their gender information in their social security record by the fall of 2022.

10. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced it will give individuals the option to select an “X” gender marker during the voluntary self-identification questions that are part of the intake process for filing a charge of discrimination.

11. The Department of Education will propose a new federal regulation: the 2023-24 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) will allow applicants to indicate their gender identity, race, and ethnicity to help inform the Department about application barriers.

12. The White House Office of Management and Administration announced they will begin implementing an "X" gender marker to the White House Worker and Visitor Entry System (WAVES) system that affirms trans and non-binary visitors and workers.

13. The White House announced that the President’s proposed Fiscal Year 23 budget includes $10 million in funding for additional critical research on how to best add questions about sexual orientation and gender identity to the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey.

There are a few more announcements, but those are the leads.

Elections matter, folks. There’s a lot of work left to be done, but I’m so thankful to the Biden Administration for being intentional about addressing the systemic discrimination faced by trans and non-binary people in the United States.

Share this news with all the folks in your life, and while I have you here, please do celebrate trans visibility with me by subscribing to Charlotte’s Web Thoughts. <3


Hi, I’m Charlotte Clymer, and this is Charlotte’s Web Thoughts, my Substack. It’s completely free to access and read, but if you feel so moved to support my writing, please consider upgrading to a paid subscription: just $7/month or save money with the $70/annual sub. You can also go way above and beyond by becoming a Founding Member at $210.