Here’s another first from President Joe Biden: a White House proclamation recognizing Transgender Day Of Visibility.
The proclamation, released Wednesday, honored the “trailblazing work” of trans and nonbinary folks in fighting for equality in the arenas of education, sports, and the workplace. However, it also drew attention to the “high rates of violence, harassment, and discrimination” faced by this community.
“The crisis of violence against transgender women, especially transgender women of color, is a stain on our Nation’s conscience,” the proclamation declared, adding, “The Biden-Harris Administration is committed to fulfilling the promise of America for all Americans by stamping out discrimination and delivering freedom and equality for all.”
The document, signed by Biden, outlined the steps the administration has taken to uplift transgender Americans, including the day-one executive order fighting discrimination on the basis of gender identity and sexual orientation and the reversal of the Trump administration’s ban on transgender troops. Additionally, the proclamation urged the passage of the Equality Act, which would protect LGBTQ+ Americans from discrimination in housing, education, and other areas.
It also noted the recent confirmation of Dr. Rachel Levine as assistant secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services. Levine is the first out trans person confirmed by the U.S. Senate to any position and the highest-ranking one ever in the federal government.
“Vice President Harris and I affirm that transgender Americans make our Nation more prosperous, vibrant, and strong,” Biden stated. “I urge my fellow Americans to join us in uplifting the worth and dignity of every transgender person.” The president also reiterated this message Wednesday on Twitter.
The proclamation comes at a time when conservatives have ramped up their attacks on transgender Americans, specifically as red-leaning states across the U.S. advance legislation that would bar transgender athletes from participating in girls’ and women’s interscholastic sports.