NowThis Presidential Forum: Joe Biden on Transgender Rights

NowThis Presidential Forum: Joe Biden on Transgender Rights

A number of anti-LGBTQ+ bills have been introduced and signed into law at the state level in recent months, many of which aim to attack transgender rights by banning gender-affirming healthcare and banning trans children from practice sports for young people that correspond to their identity.

In 2018, 19 anti-trans bills were introduced at the state level across the country, according to a Washington Post analysis of ACLU data. Today, just 4 years later, state legislatures have already introduced 155 bills.

Since taking office, President Joe Biden has signed several executive orders to protect trans rights. These include orders that overturned the Trump-era ban on transgender military service, anti-discrimination policies in the workplace, and protected health care for transgender youth.

Dylan Mulvaney has publicly shared his transition on TikTok with his viral series ‘Days of Girlhood’. She spoke with Biden at the Now This presidential forum about right-wing attacks on trans lives and how the administration can better defend the trans community.

Mulvaney: This is my 221st day of public transition.

Biden: God loves you.

Mulvaney: Thanks. I am extremely privileged to live in a state that allows me to access the resources I need, and that decision is up to me and my doctors. But many states have legislators who feel they can get involved in this very personal process. Do you think states should have the right to ban gender-affirming healthcare?

Biden: I don’t think any state or anyone should have the right to do that. As a moral question and as a legal question, I just think it’s wrong. You know, I think I was saying before I started that my son, my deceased son, was the attorney general for the state of Delaware. He passed the most expansive law that he could, as Attorney General, convince the Legislature and the Governor to sign that dealt with all gender-affirming capacities. I mean, there’s a lot of, you know, you sometimes…they try to block you from getting access to certain medications, accessing certain procedures, and so on. None of this should be available. I mean, no state should be able to do that, in my opinion. So I think very, very strongly that you should have all solitary rights, including the use of your gender identity toilet in public.

Mulvaney: Thanks. Thanks. And it looks like the Republicans have turned trans and non-binary people into this thing to blame the downfall of society in some ways. And this narrative is not only dangerous for our mental health, but also for our physical safety. And in particular, trans women of color are being murdered at an alarming rate.

Biden: More than any other group of people.

Mulvaney: Thanks. How can democratic leaders be more effective in standing up for trans people, our families, our lives and our opportunities?

Biden: I’m not kidding when I say this: to be seen with people like you. No, I think so; I sincerely mean it. People are afraid of what they don’t know. They fear what they don’t know. And when people realize, individuals realize, ‘Oh, that’s what they’re telling me to be afraid of, that’s the problem.’ I mean, people change their minds. People just don’t know enough to know. And it’s not because of intellectual abilities, it’s just a lack of exposure. And I think it’s really important that we continue to talk about the fundamental rights of all human beings. And the idea that what’s happening in some states, I won’t get into politics, but in some states, that’s right, that’s outrageous, and I think that’s immoral. The trans part is not immoral – what they are trying to do to trans people is immoral.

This transcript has been lightly edited and condensed for clarity.

To learn more about Biden’s intimate conversations with young changemakers focused on finding solutions to some of the most critical issues facing their generation, head over to the NowThis Presidential Forum homepage.

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