Joe Biden
Photo: Facebook | Joe Biden.
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Biden makes historic acknowledgment of trans Americans

US President-elect Joe Biden made history in his Saturday night victory speech by mentioning the trans community.

He acknowledged and thanked a range of minority groups, including Black Americans.

“I am proud of the coalition we put together, the broadest and most diverse in history,” Biden said.

“Democrats, Republicans, and Independents. Progressives, moderates, and conservatives. Young and old. Urban, suburban, and rural.

“Gay, straight, transgender.

“White. Latino. Asian. Native American.

“And especially for those moments when this campaign was at its lowest — the African American community stood up again for me.

“They always have my back, and I’ll have yours.”

Undoing Trump’s anti-LGBTIQ actions

Biden is positioned to potentially correct harms to the trans community introduced under outgoing President Donald Trump.

Earlier this year, the Trump Administration finalised legislation to remove anti-discrimination protection in healthcare for trans people that was granted by the Obama-era Affordable Care Act.

The government also moved to allow federally funded organisations, including homeless shelters and aged care facilities, to turn away LGBTIQ people based on religious beliefs.

Lawsuits brought against the administration by civil rights groups have accused it of systematically attacking LGBTIQ rights.

Biden could easily reverse Trump’s 2017 ban on most trans people serving openly in the military, Politico has reported.

Biden vowed in his victory speech to be a leader “who seeks not to divide, but to unify”.

“For that is what America is about: the people,” he said.

“And that is what our Administration will be about.”

The President-elect has pledged to fight for the LGBTIQ community, from preventing violence against trans women of colour to supporting LGBTIQ veterans.

Trans politicians make history

Politicians representing the trans community and racial minorities have been elected to positions across the US.

In Kansas, Native American retired teacher Stephanie Byers has become the state’s first trans legislator.

“It’s an affirmation on humanity, the fact that we were able to do this,” Byers said.

“People of House District 86 elected me. They voted for me.

“And they were the ones that chose to not let my gender identity become an issue. What we care about is what you can do to help us.”

Byers will prioritise healthcare and expanding Medicaid in her new role.

Queer non-binary Mauree Turner is the first Muslim elected to the Oklahoma Legislature.

“For me, this means a lot,” Turner said.

“I have lived my whole life in the margins.”

One of just five openly LGBTQ elected officials in the state, Turner said they hope to be a role model.

“As a child, I honestly remember having conversations with my mom where I thought that things would just be better if I was white, or if I was just different in some way, shape, or form,” they said.

“So, it means a lot to be able to provide that visibility for other folks.”

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