This week, there have been several reports and statements about how the federal government is reconsidering the way that gender is defined in law, policy, and governance. There is a possibility that gender may be redefined as “biological,” “immutable” and “determined by genitalia at birth.”
This news threatens the transgender and intersex communities here at UConn and nationwide. The Rainbow Center recognizes that this change in definition has not yet happened, and no full definition has been made final, but we are also aware that a change like this could have immediate and devastating effects, were it to move forward.
Redefining gender in this way is an attempt to weaken and/or eliminate many legal protections and rights granted to both the transgender and intersex communities. In particular, this policy change would likely have a major impact on the way that Title IX has been interpreted and enacted nationally.
The Rainbow Center wishes to highlight the state-level protections that exist here in Connecticut. The Connecticut State Department of Education’s 2017 “Guidance on Civil Rights Protections and Supports for Transgender Students” (https://portal.ct.gov/-/media/SDE/Title-IX/transgender_guidance_faq.pdf?la=en) is a good point of reference for statewide legal protections in academic settings. While these statewide protections are helpful for those who live and work locally, we also recognize that national protections are of critical importance.
We invite any UConn community members who wish to discuss this policy or the impact it has had on them to join us in the center or reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Rainbow Center and the Office for Diversity and Inclusion are committed to supporting our transgender and intersex UConn community members, and we will remain steadfast in our advocacy and actions.