#WontBeErased

Transgender Republican elected official calls Trump administration’s stance on gender identity ‘shortsighted’

Jordan Evans lives in the town of Charlton, Massachusetts. It’s a rural town where 54 percent of voters cast a ballot for Donald Trump in the 2016 presidential election. Like the majority of people in her town, Evans is a Republican. Unlike many of her townsfolk, she is transgender, having come out in 2013. The 27-year-old began medically transitioning three years ago and said she’s been embraced by family and friends throughout the process. What makes her truly unique, though, is that fact that she’s openly transgender, a Republican and an elected public official — perhaps one of just a handful nationwide.

Evans is a town constable and an elected library trustee, and, therefore, is in a unique position to comment on the new federal guidance on defining gender identity that the Trump administration is reportedly considering.

“I am afraid,” she told The Washington Post. “I’m absolutely distraught. Not so much afraid for me,” Evans continued. “I’m afraid for people who are younger than me — people who don’t have the kind of experiences in the world that I’ve had. They see this, and they’re rightfully terrified.”

She also sees the move, if the Trump administration goes through with it, to be politically “shortsighted,” she told the Post. “As a Republican, it’s disgusting to see my party continue to push these types of things through in a world that’s changing. If we don’t change with the world, we are ultimately going to lose.” She added that she’s not surprised, however, given the administration’s attempts to bar transgender Americans from serving in the military, among other similar policies.

But many critics on Monday saw the issue through a lens beyond the political parties. Those outraged by the report on what the Trump administration is considering see the issue as a matter of human rights. Hundreds showed up outside the White House to protest on Monday, holding signs and posting on social media and using the hashtag #WontBeErased to register their dissatisfaction.

Christine Hallquist of Vermont, the first transgender gubernatorial candidate for a major party in U.S. history, vowed to open “a can of whoop-ass” on Trump if she wins her election.

Shannon Minter, a transgender attorney for the National Center for Lesbian Rights, told The Associated Press that the plan is a “cynical political ploy to sow discord and energize a right-wing base” just ahead of  midterm elections.

“The fact that the court ruling by a single federal district court judge was issued nearly two years ago only underscores the suspiciousness of this timing,” Minter said.

Read the full story at The Washington Post and The Associated Press.

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