The president gives hate and fear a voice by sacrificing yet another marginalized group in favor of keeping up appearances.

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Copyright 2017 MosaicPlanet | MosaicPlanet.org

Earlier this week, the Trump administration announced plans to rollback an Obama-era guidance that called for non-discrimination of transgender youth in school communities. The rollback specifically targets the use of bathrooms as related to students’ gender identities.

On its best day – if nothing else – this display of social conservatism masked as government “hands-off-ness” reflects a deep and troubling misuse of authority from the very pinnacle of our governmental institutions. Worse yet, however, are its implications against the civil rights of LGBTQ youth as well as how the nation responds to such.

It is no secret that LGBTQ students are commonly marginalized and victimized – institutionally and socially, both directly and indirectly – throughout their educational careers. Specifically regarding the transgender population, students of all ages are too often singled-out, shamed, ridiculed and bullied for their gender identity and the challenges with which it burdens them socially.

Seemingly normal, everyday choices like where to sit, what bathroom to visit, what lockers to use, what clothes to wear, what social norms to abide by and much, much more are routinely conflicting for transgendered people as well as their peers and mentors; those who would accurately and appropriately behave sensitively to the burgeoning norm of LGBTQ youth in schools and communities as well as safeguard their civil rights.

Both need and deserve delicate guidance and protection so as to provide a healthy and safe environment for learning and socializing; notions that go hand-in-hand throughout the educational spectrum.

Imagine – if you are a cisgendered individual – actually fearing for your safety because of who you are.

Imagine worrying day after day about being ostracized, demonized and/or victimized for something that is ingrained in kids from day one: being themselves.

Imagine not being respected or welcomed or allowed to just be yourself based on antiquated, harmful, hateful prejudices and irrational fears.

And now imagine that the president himself is giving that hate and fear a voice, that victimization a proper channel. How would you feel?

Bullying by choice

Donald Trump has led and dominated his constituents since the campaign trail by way of further marginalizing the nation’s most vulnerable populations. This time: transgender kids. And the worst part is that his excuses are just as bad as the lies themselves.

 Transgender activists and supporters protest potential changes by the Trump administration in federal guidelines. Photo credit: ABC News - Go.com
Transgender activists and supporters protest potential changes by the Trump administration in federal guidelines. Photo credit: ABC News – Go.com

His administration’s choice to withdraw guidance under the false premise of limiting federal government overreach is complete nonsense. Instead, it is a winking, shiny distraction from the president’s illegitimacy and his ever-growing disapproval ratings on both sides of the aisle. It is a reflex move by the new administration; a “thank you” to Christian Conservatism for putting him in the White House.

This was a choice by the offices of the Bannon-Trump-Pence triad to win points with their social conservative supporters as a direct result of the tremendously flawed and ridiculed performance the nation has seen so far of the Trump presidency.

This was a choice made to resonate with voters who otherwise would not care to grasp the technical concepts behind actual, disastrous policies concerning issues like economics, healthcare and national security.

This was a choice that speaks to and for the haphazardly cruel and entirely false reasoning that transgendered youth are a problem.

Retracting federal guidance for the protections, security and well-being of transgender youth opens too much to interpretation of states and local governments, not to mention the schools. The only groups that stand to lose here are the victims themselves; as the choice to rollback serves no other purpose but to irresponsibly pander to a base whose voice should effectively remain silent while marginalized kids are put in harm’s way.

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Native to Phoenix, Arizona, Bernard is an active LGBTQ rights activist, writer and documentarian currently living in San Diego, CA. As an educated theologian, his work often examines the social impact of religion and politics both in America and abroad.