Misleading: Biden "plans to force schools to allow males to use female bathrooms".

By: Ganashree N A
January 14 2021

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Misleading: Biden


The Verdict Misleading

Biden's guidance for transgender students has been misrepresented.

Claim ID bb331b42

Biden's guidance for transgender students has been misrepresented.Under Trump's administration, several LGBT+ policies brought in under the Obama administration were revoked, with a particular focus on stripping away trans rights. As the Guardian notes, this involved rewriting regulations and policy with outdated and inaccurate definitions of gender. It also gave way to vicious campaign messaging and misinformation on trans rights. The Federalist, a far-right news site that has repeatedly published misinformation and articles diminishing trans rights, ran a piece stating that Biden "plans to force schools receiving federal funding to accommodate students who want to use bathrooms, locker rooms, and play sports with students of the opposite biological sex". This is misleading, as it deliberately misinterprets and obscures transgender issues. Biden's website states that on his first day in office, the President-elect will restore guidance for schools. This guidance will allow transgender students to access the sports, bathrooms, and locker rooms that align with their gender identity. Biden's Obama-era policy was issued to schools in 2016. It agreed to provide federal funds to schools that do not exclude, separate, deny benefits to, or treat anyone differently in educational services or activities based on their gender identity. The Federalist article also claims that Biden "supports young children choosing to “transition” and reaffirmed his promises to 'flat-out just change the law' to accommodate his agenda". This is false. As Reuters reports, there is no evidence of Biden supporting young children transitioning or planning to change the law on this matter. The article refers to a speech in which Biden stated, “The idea that an 8-year-old child or a 10-year-old child decides, ‘You know I decided I want to be transgender. That's what I think I'd like to be. It would make my life a lot easier.’ There should be zero discrimination.” Here, Biden was stating that there should be more support for transgender children but did not mention transitions at any point in the speech. The Associated Press and the New York Times have released style guides on how to report transgender issues. AP notes that reporters should “use the pronoun preferred by the individuals who have acquired the physical characteristics of the opposite sex or present themselves in a way that does not correspond with their sex at birth." This is especially important as the transgender community is at greater risk of violence than the rest of the population and experience inequality in almost all parts of society, including healthcare, education, and the criminal justice system.

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