Joe Biden issues powerful trans rights proclamation: ‘these attacks are un-American and must end’

Collage of Joe Biden in front of a rainbow-lit White House, a US flag, and protest signs calling for LGBTQ liberation

President Joe Biden has officially proclaimed March 31 – which, this year, is also Easter Sunday – as Transgender Day of Visibility.

He reaffirmed his administration’s commitment to transgender rights in a powerful statement, released on Friday (29 March), that read:

“On Transgender Day of Visibility, we honor the extraordinary courage and contributions of transgender Americans and reaffirm our Nation’s commitment to forming a more perfect Union — where all people are created equal and treated equally throughout their lives.  

“Transgender Americans are part of the fabric of our Nation.  Whether serving their communities or in the military, raising families or running businesses, they help America thrive.  

“They deserve, and are entitled to, the same rights and freedoms as every other American, including the most fundamental freedom to be their true selves.”

The proclamation went on to condemn, in the strongest terms, the actions of “extremists” who are “proposing hundreds of hateful laws that target and terrify transgender kids and their families,” adding that “these bills attack our most basic American values:  the freedom to be yourself, the freedom to make your own health care decisions, and even the right to raise your own child.”

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The proclamation also referred to rising suicide rates amongst transgender youth, as well as an “epidemic of violence against transgender women and girls, especially women and girls of color,” stating that “all of these attacks are un-American and must end.”

The White House illuminated in the colour of the Pride flag. (Getty)

A worrying 2023 report previously warned that hate crimes will likely increase during the 2024 presidential race for the White House as groups including neo-Nazis attempt to “wage war on democracy”.

The study, conducted by civil rights group The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights (LCEF), analysed FBI hate crime data from the the last 15 years.

Reported hate crimes based on gender identity increased nearly 30 per cent from 2020 to 2021, with a 15 per cent increase in reported hate crimes targeting transgender individuals.

The LCEF report also highlighted that a “small number of well-funded and well-organised proponents of bigotry and hate are having an outsized effect relative to their actual numbers” and have succeed in turning “hate into campaign platforms”.

Yesterday (March 29), civil rights group the Southern Poverty Law Center added Libs of TikTok founder Chaya Raichik to their hate watchlist, describing her as an “anti-LGBTQ+ extremist.”

Image shows Chaya Raichik smiling, with her listing as an extremist superimposed to her right
Chaya Raichik attends the DailyWire+ Red Carpet Premiere of “Lady Ballers” on November 29, 2023. She has recently been added to an ‘extremist’ watchlist by the Southern Poverty Law Center (Getty)

The account has become infamous for pushing conspiracy theories and misinformation about the LGBTQ+ community – particularly LGBTQ+ minors. Its tweets have also been accused of sparking right-wing hate and harassment campaigns against teachers, medical professionals, schools, and even White House staff.

Joe Biden’s official proclamation that March 31 is Trans Day of Visibility follows anger from right-wing anti-LGBTQ+ critics about the fact that, this year, Transgender Day of Visibility falls on Easter Sunday.

It’s important to note that absolutely no one has “decided” to hold Transgender Day of Visibility on Easter Sunday: the latter is a moving feast day which can fall on any Sunday between March 22 and April 25.

Joe Biden came under fire almost immediately from right-wing activists due to the fact that the proclamation was issued over Easter weekend, including Caitlyn Jenner, who is transgender. Since coming out publicly as trans in 2015, Jenner, 74, has courted controversy for her views on the trans community. 

In response to Joe Biden’s statement, Caitlyn Jenner took to X and tweeted: “I am absolutely disgusted that Joe Biden has declared the most Holy of Holy days – a self proclaimed devout Catholic – as Transgender Day of Visibility. The only thing you should be declaring on this day is ‘HE is Risen’.”

She was immediately mercilessly roasted in the comments by people who queued up to correct her, and explain that TDOV falls on March 31 every year: in fact she herself celebrated it publicly in 2017.

Earlier in the week, before Biden’s proclamation, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors in Virginia unanimously voted to proclaim their support for Trans Day of Visibility, and were accused of “hijacking Easter”.

President Biden’s proclamation ends: “Today, we send a message to all transgender Americans:  You are loved.  You are heard.  You are understood.  You belong.  You are America, and my entire Administration and I have your back.”

You can read the full document here.