Former President Donald Trump said in a video on Tuesday that if he is reelected president in 2024, he will dismantle transgender rights. That would include stopping access to gender-affirming care and using the government to go after transgender people.
Posted on his social media platform Truth Social, Trump called access to gender-affirming care “child abuse” and “child sexual mutilation.”
The former president, who has been impeached twice, said he’d forbid government agencies from promoting “the concept of sex and gender transition at any age.”
In the pledge, Trump said he’d cut off federal funding to doctors and health care groups providing gender-affirming care to minors. He also said that if teachers or school officials “suggest to a child that they could be trapped in the wrong body,” then “they will be faced with severe consequences including potential civil rights violations.”
Trump said that his administration would push for “positive education about the nuclear family” as well as celebrate “rather than [erase] the things that make men and women different and unique.”
He added, “I will ask Congress to pass a bill establishing that the only genders recognized by the United States government are male and female, and they are assigned at birth.”
Trump, who announced his presidential candidacy in November and has seen his influence weaken in the Republican Party, then went on to say that transgender people didn’t exist until “a few years ago.”
“No serious country should be telling its children that they were born with the wrong gender, a concept that was never heard of in all of human history. Nobody's ever heard of this,” he said.
The Trevor Project recently released a report that showed that anti-LGBTQ+ discourses negatively affect the mental health of LGBTQ+ youth.
“An overwhelming majority of LGBTQ youth have been negatively impacted by recent debates and laws around anti-LGBTQ policies and that many have also experienced victimization as a result,” the organization said when it released the report last month.
Leading medical associations have voiced support for gender-affirming care for youth.
The threats Trump made in the video go even beyond what many state Republican lawmakers have attempted to do to LGBTQ+ rights over recent years with moves to replicate Florida’s “don’t say gay” law, banning books that discuss gender and sexual orientation, targeting drag shows, banning trans girls from competing in school sports, and trying to restrict access to gender-affirming care.
Earlier this week, Utah’s GOP governor signed into a law a bill that bans most gender-affirming care for youth. Other states that have taken action against gender-affirming care include Alabama and Arkansas, where bans enacted by legislators are temporarily blocked while court challenges proceed; Florida, where medical boards have banned this care for most minors and the state has banned all Medicaid funding for it, regardless of the patient’s age; and Oklahoma, where a major hospital ceased providing the care because the state would have withheld funding otherwise. Bills restricting such treatment are pending in 20 other states.
During his administration, Trump rolled back transgender rights by removing Title IX protections over bathroom access and ending protections for transgender people under the Affordable Care Act.