WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) – While many states are taking action to restrict transgender rights with new legislation, President Joe Biden says he’s making policy changes aimed at making things more equal for transgender people.
Florida’s Parental Rights in Education bill, which opponents call the “Don’t Say Gay” bill, became law this week.
“We will make sure that parents can send their kids to school to get an education, not an indoctrination,” Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said.
And just days ago, Oklahoma and Arizona banned transgender girls from competing in women’s sports.
But President Biden is taking the federal government in the opposite direction.
“The onslaught of anti-transgender state laws attacking you and your families is simply wrong,” Biden said.
The Biden administration says starting later this month, passports can use an X to indicate an unspecified gender identity and airport screenings will become more gender-neutral.
Admiral Rachel Levine with the Department of Health and Human Services is transgender herself, so she says she knows how important the new policies are.
“This administration sees them and this administration supports them,” Levine said.
Especially when it comes to younger transgender people, she believes support from the administration makes a difference.
“Trans youth are very vulnerable and they need to be empowered,” Levine said. “We have their back and we’re going to do everything we can to help.”
Harleigh Walker is a transgender teen from Alabama, where lawmakers are considering banning gender-affirming medical treatments for minors.
“It’s been really hurtful to have them constantly just attacking saying things like its child abuse or I need psychological help,” Walker said.
She got to visit the White House this week and meet with officials like Admiral Levine, which made her feel better about the future for her community.
“Puts hope back into me that there is somebody out there who can and is trying to protect me,” Walker said.