Pritzker students speak out against potential gender definition change

By Jazmin Bustamante ’21

Pritzker students take a vocal stand against the Trump administration’s recent statement regarding potential definition changes to the word ‘gender’ on Sunday, Oct. 21.

The United States of America’s current legal definition of the word consists of being inclusive to differentiating between gender identity and biological sex.

Gender refers to the social roles depending on one’s personal identification whereas sex focuses on the anatomy of an individual’s reproductive system.

The Trump administration proposed its consideration of restricting the definition to only referring to “a biological, immutable condition determined by genitalia at birth” despite implemented civil rights laws catering to those within the transgender community.

Members of the transgender community have fought toward gaining legal protection based on constant historical discrimination based solely on their gender identity being inconsistent with their assigned sex at birth.

Sophomore Arlette Carino stated, “I honestly think that changing the definition of ‘gender’ is wrong. I do not understand why Donald Trump would consider doing such a thing in the first place when there are already laws set in place to help guarantee protection to transgender individuals- take bathroom policies, for example.”

In accordance to several federal United States courts, the act of denying access to facilities aligned with one’s personal gender identity can constitute discrimination.

Carino asked, “How can our current president impose a legal definition change that can negatively impact the mere act of one peacefully using the bathroom they are comfortable with?”

“People are who they are no matter how they identify and they shouldn’t have to change or be ashamed of who they are, especially based on what the president says,” Carino said.

Freshman Bryce Sandoval, who is transgender, stated, “Transgender people are just people and deserve happiness. The Trump administration threatening this greatly upsets me.”

A court ruling in favor of a transgender woman who was fired from her job based on her gender identity in 2011 stated that “discrimination against a transgender individual because of her gender nonconformity is sex discrimination, whether it’s described as being on the basis of sex or gender.”

“It seems as if Donald Trump, along with his administration, wants to go back to the days of constant discrimination against those who do not fit societal norms. Society is advancing on a cultural aspect and we definitely will not revert back to intolerant ways. Transgender rights are human rights,” Carino finished stating.

Sandoval continued, “I’ve been reading about this issue for quite a while now. To know that transgender people, some of which are young like me, have no clue as to what will happen is horrible. I am afraid to be unaware of what my future will hold. I am afraid that I will be unable to live the life that I want to be living as a male. It pains me to know I feel threatened by our own president.”