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Trans Rights Protesters At Rally: 'We Will Not Be Erased'

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Trans Rights Protesters At Rally: 'We Will Not Be Erased'
The Trump administration may be considering a rollback of policies that protected the rights of trans Americans. Hundreds showed up to protest it.
SHOW TRANSCRIPT

"People who are uninformed about trans rights think it's special rights. It's not anything special. We want the same rights as everyone else," said Grey. 

Grey is fresh out of high school. But for him, the scars of discrimination are still very real. Though he says most everyone in school knew he was trans, he wasn't allowed to use the men's bathroom. 

"Every time I wanted to use the bathroom, I had to use the nurse's room. They didn't want me in the women's bathroom either, so it was like I had to be completely segregated from everyone else in the school," Grey said. "It just made me feel like I was less than everybody else because I was completely segregated. It's kind of humiliating."

Transgender students like Grey are now on edge after The New York Times reported that the Trump administration is considering changes to current Obama-era advancements for the transgender community. The paper reports "The Trump administration is considering narrowly defining gender as a biological, immutable condition determined by genitalia at birth." It would effectively change the way trans rights are approached, from bathroom issues to single-sex education programs to classifications in prisons and homeless shelters. 

President Trump recently commented on the Department of Health and Human Services memo that outlined the proposal.

"We're looking at it very seriously. You know what I'm doing? I'm protecting everybody. I want to protect our country," he said. 

"I don't think the government should be defining what my gender is. I also think it's just a big distraction from the other major issues that our government should be addressing," said Nicky Sundt. She doesn't necessarily think the Trump administration is paying attention to these protests. But she is hoping voters are hearing her chants.

"I don't think they're listening, but the people who are maybe on the fence about voting will be moved. Maybe a few people will be moved, but sometimes that's all it takes is a few people," she added.

But for this dad, it's about more than elections and federal policies. It's about his transgender daughter, who is 8 years old. He did not want to be named out of privacy concerns for her, but he came alone to this rally to support her.

"A child that's 8 years old doesn't really have a voice yet, but they have a powerful voice. And I would like to be that voice for her behind the scenes," he explained. He worries about kids like his daughter, especially when suicide rates are so much higher among this community.

"As a parent, the one thing you want is to make your child happy. She came out at 4, and she told us, 'I don't want to be in this world anymore.' Pretty easy decision on our part to be like, 'Hey, whatever you need.' People need to educate themselves. As a parent, I'm not forcing my kid to do that. This is my kid's world. Let's live in it and be supportive of it," he said. 

He says most people are simply uneducated about the issue. 

"A lot of people say I don't want my daughter to have a transgender person in my bathroom, and I say, look, trans people are the least scary people out there because they're more concerned about their own safety, much less than causing other people harm. Educate yourself. Educate why this is not a choice," he added.

But Grey hopes the noise he's making today, along with hundreds of others outside the White House, like this dad, will remind people this issue is not going away.

"We're not going to take it. We're going to fight back in any way we can," he said.