The Trump administration has reportedly been retroactively revoking passports for transgender woman, forcing them to provide proof of their gender in what they see as a targeted action against transgender individuals.
The incidents were documented in a report from Them, which found a number of transgender women who received notifications from the U.S. Passport Office that they failed to disclose that they are transgender. One of those women, a New Yorker named Janus Rose, said she received a phone call from a passport processing center that she should have not have been allowed to change the gender on her passport and that the medical documentation she sent was not adequate.
Rose said the documentation she used had been considered adequate for years, and she had been given no notice that it would no longer be accepted.
“She basically told me that even though the government had changed my gender marker in the last year, that was a mistake,” Rose told the news outlet. “This letter is something my clinic has been using as a boilerplate for years for so many people. The clinic says I’m the first person to get a rejection.”
Rose said it was clear to her that the policy itself hadn’t changed, but there was a new guidance from the Trump administration on how to enforce it.
The action comes amid a number of other actions from the Trump administration to restrict the rights of transgender individuals. Trump announced last year on Twitter that he was banning transgender troops from serving in the U.S. armed services, though the decision was not discussed with military leaders and was ultimately overturned by a federal judge.
"When Askini went to renew her passport, her request was denied. The U.S. Passport Ofc told her she had “failed to disclose” that she was transgender & needed to provide proof of gender transition—after 20 years of having a passport that says she’s female" https://t.co/gTAQqokpXu
— David Galiel (@davidgaliel) July 27, 2018
The National Center for Transgender Equality also noted that Donald Trump has stripped away many of the protections for this group put in place during Barack Obama’s tenure. This includes a proposed rule from the Department of Health and Human Services to encourage religious refusals in health care targeting transgender individuals, and an announcement from the Department of Education that it will summarily dismiss complaints from transgender students who say they are excluded from school activities because of their gender identity.
NCTE has investigated recent concerns about passport processing for transgender people. Our full statement below: pic.twitter.com/OTjogXdH5H
— National Center for Transgender Equality (@TransEquality) July 28, 2018
The actions have put LGBT groups at odds with Donald Trump, who had claimed during the 2016 presidential campaign that he would be the best candidate for this community.
“He campaigned saying that he would be a good friend to LGBT people,” James Esseks, the director of the ACLU’s LGBT and HIV Project, told Vox for a January report about Donald Trump’s actions that target LGBT people. “Actions speak far louder than words. And what he’s done has been a wreck.”