Trump’s Military Ban Is Part of Larger, Years-Long Attack on Transgender People

The pioneering trans actress and activist Laverne Cox responds to the Supreme Court’s revival of President Donald Trump’s plan to ban transgender people from serving in the US military. She spoke on Tuesday at the National Day of Racial Healing as part of a conversation moderated by Amy Goodman.


AMY GOODMAN: I just came back from Los Angeles this morning, where I took part in a discussion on racial justice and harmony, that was curated by the well-known director Ava DuVernay. And I spoke with Laverne Cox and author Jacqueline Woodson. Among the people who were there also, Stacey Abrams, the former Georgia gubernatorial candidate. It was a National Day of Racial Healing. I asked Laverne Cox, well-known transgender actress and activist, to respond to the Supreme Court news.

LAVERNE COX: Well, first of all, I’m not surprised, given the nature and the makeup of who is on the Supreme Court. When I look sort of historically and try to put things in perspective, this is part of a larger pattern of the attack of transgender people that really probably maybe started four years ago or so. I think after the passage of marriage equality, some conservative folks needed another sort of group to scapegoat, in part.

And since, I would arguably say, 2014, trans people have been more visible in the media than we ever have before. Through YouTube, etc., the real, lived experiences of trans people are actually being—are actually out there for people to access. And so, there was a conversation about backlash in the earlier discussion. I think that is also going on, that there—we’ve seen unprecedented introductions of anti-trans legislation in state legislatures all over the country. There have probably been over 400 pieces of legislation introduced in state legislatures since 2014. Guidelines for how transgender children should be treated in schools were rescinded.

Of course, the current administration,…

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