[Image Description: The words “Won’t Be Erased” are in white, on top of a photo of two people at a march.]

We Are Magic Manifested, and We Won’t Be Erased

APIENC’s Statement on the Leaked ‘Trans Memo’

Yesterday, The New York Times reported an unreleased memo from the Trump administration, which would aim to define sex as, “a biological, immutable condition determined by genitalia at birth.” The memo, drafted by the Department of Health and Human Services, would diminish the role of gender identity under the Title IX anti-discrimination law, in favor of this limited definition of “sex.”

This legal change would deny the existence of transgender and gender non-binary people. No matter the work, the community, the surgery, the papers, the conversations—under this memo, people would only be seen as their sex assigned at birth, rather than their gender identity. Without Title IX protections transgender folks would no longer be able to dispute discrimination when it comes to healthcare, housing, employment, education or violent attack. Transgender people would be living under even more scrutiny and judgement, potentially even having samples of DNA tested in order to determine a person’s sex assigned at birth, violating people’s biological and personal rights.

At APIENC, we know what this is. This is an attempt to isolate, invisiblize, and erase the existence of transgender people in the United States. This as an attempt to dictate how our bodies should be, publicly and privately, for the sake of conservative federal comfort. This is an attempt to deny our histories of organizing, the rights of our people, and the humanity of our community.

And yet, fighting for safety and building community is in our bones. If they ever dare to test our DNA, they’ll find long legacies of trans resistance interwoven with histories of fierce organizing. Within our trans bodies are the experiences of the transgender, third-gender, non-binary people who have prepared ceremony, held ritual, and created culture for centuries—for much longer than the federal government has been around.

APIENC is here for our community. We are here for transgender, non-binary, and third-gender Asian and Pacific Islander people, and for all transgender people. We will rally, heal, eat, cry, breathe, and fight with one another from a place of interdependence, rather than from fear. From mobilizing in the streets at Trans March, to building skills for our liberation, to providing connections to healthcare, legal services, and housing—we will continue to do what it takes. And we need you with us.

  • Join our Trans Justice Committee: If you are TGNC API-identified, email sammie@lavenderphoenix.org to participate in ongoing work;
  • Stay Connected: Sign up for our email list and share this post with your community;
  • Become a volunteer member: Actively take-part in building a new world by learning organizing skills, understanding our histories, and moving through trauma;
  • Donate your resources: Trans-led organizations need resources to survive. Over 50% of our dollars come from individual donors who believe in our work. Now is the time to invest in our collective liberation.

We won’t be erased. We won’t be forgotten. We are magic manifested, dreams become reality, and futures actualized. Stay rooted, get close, and take a breath. This is just the next beginning, and we will move through this, working for a world where our full selves can thrive.