Shelter access saves LGBTQ lives
Since the day the Trump administration took office we’ve been fighting back against attack after attack they’ve leveled at our communities.
The administration’s most recent move is particularly egregious and harmful – a proposed regulation that would eliminate critical protections intended to ensure the availability of emergency shelter for transgender people.
The administration’s new rule removes federal requirements for shelter access consistent with a person’s gender identity. If implemented it would subject homeless transgender people either to a return to the streets or the risk of violence, harassment, or sexual assault in the inappropriate and unsafe shelters they are forced into.
Last week, GLAD submitted our comment strongly opposing this dangerous proposed rule.
The administration must review each of those comments before making a final decision to change the rule. And even if they do push through this discriminatory regulation, Trump can’t change the fact that we have state and federal laws that prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex and transgender status. No matter what, GLAD will continue fighting on every level to ensure equal access to life-saving services, including shelters, for everyone in our community who needs them.
Homelessness reflects acute inequities in our society. As a result of disproportionate rates of unemployment and poverty – stemming from persistent discrimination, family rejection and stigma – transgender people have long experienced alarmingly high rates of homelessness. And that harm is compounded for transgender women of color, particularly, who are multiply impacted by systemic racism, misogyny, and transphobia.
The removal of shelter access protections would be inhumane under any circumstances, but the consequences could be catastrophic during the ongoing pandemic, which has caused skyrocketing rates of people experiencing homelessness. The Trump administration’s callous proposal displays basic ignorance about what it means to be transgender and deplorable disregard for the health and safety of transgender people.
GLAD has long worked to ensure transgender people can access shelter facilities on equal terms and without discrimination or harassment. Now, when access to housing can mean life or death and the federal administration is threatening to make it easier to turn people away, we are doubling down on that work.
With our partners across New England we are expanding our shelter access project, to make sure everyone in our community has the information they need to access shelter services safely and without discrimination. For more information or if you encounter mistreatment when accessing essential services including shelters, contact our GLAD Answers legal infoline.
Your support makes it possible for GLAD to fight back when dangerous proposals threaten our community, and to make sure everyone in our community knows the rights we have to be treated fairly and with respect and dignity.