A Transgender Man’s Perspective
I will be honest and say that Joe Biden was not my first choice when it came to a candidate for President of the United States. My personal pick was Pete Buttigieg, not because he’s a fellow member of the LGBTQ community, but because of his youthful zeal paired with a moderate approach to government. I’ve always been a moderate independent voter and Mayor Pete’s stance on several issues appealed to me.
However, Pete Buttigieg did not win the nomination, and I will be voting for Joe Biden this coming November. This is not the year for voting for a third-party candidate, as I have done many times in the past. My rights are slowly being trampled on and stripped away as a transgender person, and I fear what another four years under the Trump administration might bring.
The right to access affordable healthcare
The Trump administration has taken several steps toward removing the healthcare protections for transgender people that the Obama administration put into place. These rollbacks included removing Medicaid coverage of gender-affirming surgeries for transgender people.
My own Medicaid coverage changed, and no longer covers such surgeries. It forced me to either pay for private health insurance at a cost of $720/month to help cover these surgeries or pay thousands of dollars out-of-pocket. For most transgender people that is unattainable. For many of us, these surgeries are literally lifesaving.
I hope that Joe Biden will continue to advocate for better healthcare for everyone, including the transgender community.
The right to serve in the armed forces
Under the Obama administration, the ban against LGBTQ service members, including transgender people, was lifted. Trump himself put the ban back into place a few months after taking office.
Many transgender people who were serving in the U.S. armed forces, that dared to come out since the ban had been lifted, were summarily dismissed from service. Many retired generals and admirals spoke against this ban, but Trump’s administration went forward with it anyway.
It is the hope of many that Joe Biden will reverse this decision, and the Pentagon wouldn’t even need to spend months studying the issue. This could be an easy, early win for the Biden administration, if he is elected.
The right to merely exist
Besides health care and military service, the Trump administration has enacted, or attempted to enact, numerous bans against the transgender community. Much of this legislation is aimed at defining transgender people out of existence.
“The Trump administration is attempting to strip transgender people of official recognition by creating a narrow definition of gender as being only male or female and unchangeable once determined at birth.”
The simple act of going to the bathroom in public is so fraught with controversy, that I personally fear using public restrooms. This goes to show how much of a negative impact this administration has had. In stark contrast, Joe Biden has been a vocal supporter of the transgender community, especially in recent months.
Joe Biden may have been against gay marriage in the past, but his position has evolved and changed over the years. In 2012, he expressed his support for gay marriage in an interview, which led to President Obama lending his own support toward the issue as well.
While Joe Biden wasn’t the candidate I voted for in the primaries, he is the man who gets my vote for President of the United States. As a nation, we cannot afford four more years of Donald Trump. As a transgender person, I may not survive four more years of Donald Trump.
This November, please vote.