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Trump's “gender memo” sparks local concern of gender identity rollback


Local activists are gearing up to speak out this weekend at the “You cannot erase us rally.” Earlier this week, the New York Times reported the US Department of Health and Human Services circulated a memo suggesting a change in the definition of gender, that does not include transgender individuals.

Damian Mordecai is the Executive Director at the Pride Center of WNY. He says the recent move by the Trump Administration can have far reaching dangerous consequences.

"It would have a devastating impact on transgender people, who already face numerous barriers from healthcare to housing, and so on," he said. "Rolling back any kind of safe guards and returning to what we had, would really place trans-people in danger, by enabling health insurers, clinics hospitals and various other entities, that receive federal funds, to deny essential care.”

Diana Patton is a transgender individual, she’s also Navy veteran and co-founder of the We Exist Coalition. The coalition is hosting the rally this weekend.

Patton says the recent news has made her concerned about violence against transgender individuals.

"If we are not seen as equals to everybody else and we are seen as sub-human, it’s easy for people to attack us both physically and mentally, along with killing us," she said.

The rally will take place at noon, Saturday at Lafayette Square in downtown Buffalo.

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