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Trans And Gender-Nonconforming People Rally With #WontBeErased In Response To Trump Admin Memo

Protests and backlash followed reports of an unreleased memo from the Trump administration's Health and Human Services Department, which proposes defining gender "as a biological, immutable condition determined by genitalia at birth."

Posted on October 22, 2018, at 2:03 p.m. ET

On Saturday, the New York Times reported on an unreleased memo from the Trump administration that proposes defining gender "as a biological, immutable condition determined by genitalia at birth."

Yana Paskova / Getty Images

Defining gender as strictly male or female, and unchangeable over time, would effectively erase many trans and gender-nonconforming individuals.

According to the New York Times, the memo from last spring came from the US Department of Health and Human Services, which proposed changes in the way sex is defined under federal laws like Title IX. Title IX, however, doesn't fall under HHS's purview, and the scope of the proposal remains unclear.

There are reasons to be alarmed by the memo, but it's important to keep in mind that there are policies and court decisions that will continue to protect and recognize trans people at the federal level, explains BuzzFeed News reporter Dominic Holden. "People should be alarmed," he says, "but only insofar as the administration is marching along the same path it has for quite some time."

.@dominicholden breaks down the details of the Trump admin's trans memo

Protesters gathered at a rally at Washington Square Park in New York City on Sunday night to protest. Another rally is planned for Monday at the White House.

Yana Paskova / Getty Images

The powerful brilliance that is @IndyaMoore. Despite the darkness, never forget that our people, like our further, is bright. #WontBeErased

On social media, trans and gender-nonconforming people began sharing selfies, photos of family members, and messages of protest with hashtags like #WontBeErased.

"Reading a headline that just says the administration essentially wants to define me out of existence is a scary thought." @ParkerMolloy discusses the panic she felt reading about Trump admin's trans memo

This is my daughter. She exists. She will not be erased. Vote as if her life depends on it. It does. So many lives depend on it. #wontbeerased #transequalitynow #thisiswhattranslookslike

I made this for the bookshop today. #WontBeErased

You can’t define us out of existence. We are who we are regardless of your words. You can’t murder us out of existence. We’re born every day. Born from birth. Born from strength. Born from courage. Born from love. Your hate is futile. #TransPeopleWillNotBeErased

@meakoopa Im a 34-yo trans dyke spending my days finding ways to bring queer themes into comics. I exist, and I am alive, and they aren’t going to wipe me out.

Hey I'm Tobias, I'm transgender, and I #WontBeErased

We won't be erased. We won't be erased. We won't be erased. We won't be erased. We won't be erased. We won't be erased. We won't be erased. We won't be erased. We won't be erased. We won't be erased. #WeWontBeErased And we won't stop fighting

I am a son. I am a daughter. I am a father. I am a mother. I am a grandfather. I am a grandmother. I am a friend. I am a neighbor. I am a coworker. I am a student. We are transgender. ⚧ #WontBeErased

"#transandproud but also extremely sad today," shared one individual on Instagram.

"I am not defined by my genetics, I am not defined by my birth. I am defined by myself. I am a proud transgender person," wrote another.

In light of the news, many are reminding people to get out and vote for allies to the queer and trans community in the upcoming election.

#WeWontBeErased #TransPeopleWillNotBeErased Stay strong everyone. We won’t go without a fight and we will never stop fighting. 💜🦈

A BuzzFeed News investigation, in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on thousands of documents the government didn't want you to see.