A Trump administration guide to identifying trans people has been leaked to the media.
The memo includes a list of physical characteristics to be used for identifying women suspected of being trans, in order to prevent them from accessing women’s homeless shelters.
It recommends using “factors such as height, the presence (but not the absence) of facial hair, the presence of an Adam’s apple, and other physical characteristics” to single out trans women, LGBTQ Nation has reported.
The news comes after the US Department of Housing and Urban Development earlier this month announced a repeal of Obama-era legislation requiring homeless shelters to house people regardless of their trans status.
The change was said by the department to “better accommodate religious beliefs of shelter providers”, echoing concerns raised in the religious discrimination bill debate in Australia.
Homeless shelter workers will now be allowed to determine for themselves who may be trans, based on physical attributes, and demand proof of “biological sex” or trans status.
The law stops short of allowing invasive physical examination.
Department of Housing and Urban Development secretary Ben Carson has previously criticised policies that allowed trans women into shelters, calling them “big hairy men” and claiming they would “impede the rights” of cis women by their very presence.
National Center for Transgender Equality Executive Director Mara Keisling slammed the new regulations.
“One in three transgender Americans has been homeless at some point in their lives, and this proposal would have them sleep on the street rather than get help,” said Keisling.
“The difference between being sheltered and unsheltered is especially dangerous for transgender homeless persons, particularly transgender persons of color, who face harassment and threats from private individuals, as well as elevated rates of policing and violence within police custody.
“When combined with President Trump’s recent policy proposals to increase criminalization of homelessness, while cutting [the department’s] affordable housing budget and rolling back support for Housing First, it is clear that getting transgender persons off the street and out of harm’s way is a matter of life and death.”