500 Women Scientists and 500 Queer Scientists demand justice for all transgender people

500 Women Scientists and 500 Queer Scientists stand together with transgender and gender-nonconforming people across the country and around the world.

Transgender people already face hate, discrimination and unequal opportunities, and now the Department of Health and Human Services is trying to shred the few existing, hard won protections currently on the books by seeking to establish a regressive legal definition of sex — one that would attempt to define transgender people out of existence. The new proposal that would define sex based on genitalia at birth is inhumane, blatantly discriminatory, and antithetical to scientific evidence that neither sex nor gender can be determined by genitalia or genetic makeup alone. Besides being a mean-spirited attempt to dehumanize and politicize transgender people, such a proposal would eradicate federal funding and protections for millions of Americans who are transgender or don’t fit into the outdated and socially constructed notion of the sex and gender binary — and whose identity make them frequent targets of discrimination and violence. In short, such a proposal makes America less safe.

We utterly reject this unscientific rhetoric as hate-mongering, and we will work to ensure that transgender and gender-nonconforming people are equal and protected. We will continue to amplify transgender voices and raise our voices to demand their right to dignity, respect, and safety. In November, we will take to the polls to vote for lawmakers who understand that trans rights are human rights. And we will continue to educate ourselves with the work of trans activists, scholars, and journalists, while seeking out collaborations to support and amplify their work.

This policy would be one in a long line that censors and abuses science to perpetuate injustice. As scientists, we have a responsibility to act. Today and every day, 500 Women Scientists and 500 Queer Scientists stand with the transgender community.

— 500 Women Scientists and 500 Queer Scientists Leadership Teams