It is a frightening time to be transgender in the US. The Supreme Court is now stacked with a solidly anti-trans majority for the foreseeable future, and the full-scale assault on trans people’s civil rights is already in its early stages. In their most overtly anti-trans move to date, the Trump administration recently began pushing to redefine ‘sex’ in its interpretation of Title IX anti-discrimination laws, rejecting reality and erasing the existence of trans people. This will have widespread consequences, especially for educational institutions, and the University of Michigan is no exception.

The shifting national landscape and this most recent decay of civil rights protections increases the urgency of local fights for trans rights. Trans activists are working in a much more hostile landscape, and the erosion of access to legal leverage empowers well-funded organizations who are actively working against them.

The University must demonstrate that they are going to stand with their trans students and employees, rather than align themselves with the Trump administration and the nationwide ascendance of transphobia. A cosmetic veneer of trans allyship in the University’s media communications is not sufficient when the status quo is shifting towards overt trans disposability.

If you are wondering what kind of concrete steps you can take in solidarity with your increasingly at-risk trans peers and colleagues at the University of Michigan,

  1. Write to the Title IX coordinator (at Institutional.equity@umich.edu) and remind them, in the strongest possible terms, of the need to protect trans students and employees in the face of growing national hostility. Here is a template of a letter you can use.
  2. Sign this open letter to the University’s Medical Benefits Advisory Committee (MBAC), which is conducting a review on the coverage of transition-related healthcare. Now more than ever, they must be made aware of the gravity of their upcoming, highly consequential decision. Read more about the status of transition-related care at UM here.
  3. Join our allies list to receive updates about GEO’s ongoing campaign for equitable trans healthcare at UM, and to alerts for future actions and organizing opportunities.
Transgender Rights and Title IX