Trump Administration Wants Homeless Shelters to Deny Transgender People

Carter Brown, founder of Black Transmen Inc. speaks on introduction of the Equality Act
Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Image

Trump’s invalid administration is considering a rule change that would allow discrimination against homeless transgender people seeking shelter.

Ben Carson, the world’s most hated Oreo lover, and secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), is proposing changes to the 2012 Equal Access Rule, HuffPost reports. The original rule was meant to “to ensure that HUD’s core housing programs are open to all eligible persons, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.” With HUD’s proposed change, shelter providers would be able to take into account “an individual’s sex for the purposes of determining accommodation within such shelters and for purposes of determining sex for admission to any facility.” Providers would also be able to look at a variety of factors, including “privacy, safety, practical concerns, religious beliefs … [and] the individual’s sex as reflected in official government documents,” in designing these policies.

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In a Wednesday press release, the National Center for Transgender Equality condemned the proposal. Executive Director Mara Keisling blasted the proposed changes as a “heartless attack on some of the most vulnerable people in our society.”

“The programs impacted by this rule are life-saving for transgender people, particularly youth rejected by their families, and a lack of stable housing fuels the violence and abuse that takes the lives of many transgender people of color across the country. Secretary Carson’s actions are contrary to the mission of his Department and yet another example of tragic cruelty of this administration,” Keisling said.

According to HuffPost, Carson told House members this week that his agency was “not currently anticipating changing the rule.”

In response, the trans-rights organization posted a to-the-point “he lied” on Twitter.

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Unsurprisingly, Trump’s administration has also lied about giving support for the LGBTQIA community; trans people have been barred from military service, numerous regulations meant to protect this vulnerable community have been rescinded, and, of course, it has also tried to repeal the Affordable Care Act, which supports equal treatment of trans people in medical settings.

According to the National Center for Transgender Equality, homelessness is “a critical issue for transgender people; one in five transgender individuals have experienced homelessness at some point in their lives. Family rejection and discrimination and violence have contributed to a large number of transgender and other LGBQ-identified youth who are homeless in the United States—an estimated 20-40% of the more than 1.6 million [youth].”

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As this administration seeks to increase discrimination, advocacy groups say attacks on transgender people in the U.S. are on the rise.

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In the past week alone, communities have mourned the loss of Muhlaysia Booker (Texas), Michelle ‘Tamika’ Washington (Philadelphia), and Claire Legato (Ohio), among others surely unnamed. Last year, the Human Rights Campaign recorded at least 26 violent deaths of trans people, a number that often skews low because of rampant misgendering of trans people, making it harder for advocacy groups to identify the victims as trans. The majority of these victims have been black women.

No matter what your moral, religious, scientific or personal stance is on transgender people, denying basic human rights is flat out inhumane.

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Correction: Sept. 16, 2019, 8:25 p.m. ET: This story has been edited to clarify that the Human Rights Campaign tracked violent deaths, not adjudicated murders, of transgender people, as well as to remove unattributed text and to add fuller sourcing.

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