Asserting the Biden administration’s strong stance on trans rights, one of the first noticeable changes can be seen on the official White House website where the visitor registration form has been updated to be more inclusive of gender identities.
— GLAAD (@glaad) January 20, 2021
They can also choose the gender-neutral prefix “Mx”, which is listed alongside “Mr,” “Mrs” and “Ms”.
In his first day in office, he also signed what Alphonso David, president of the Human Rights Campaign has hailed as “the most substantive, wide-ranging executive order concerning sexual orientation and gender identity ever issued by a United States president.
“Today, millions of Americans can breathe a sigh of relief knowing that their president and their government believe discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity is not only intolerable but illegal.”
Following a historic inauguration ceremony which saw Joe Biden being sworn in as 46th US president and Kamala Harris as the first African American and Asian American being sworn in as US Vice-President, he delivered a message of unity, telling Americans “we must end the uncivil war.”
It was the first-ever inauguration speech to address the plague of white supremacy that the US has long been battling.
There were a number of knock out performances from Lady Gaga, JLo and the first National Youth Poet Laureate Amanda Gorman.
Gorman inspired the crowd with her poem, The Hill We Climb, which recalled the Capitol riots and looked to the future.
While including all gender identities and prefixes on the White House’s website is a straight forward task, there are countless other commitments that the Biden administration has made to the LGBTQ+ community.
Many of the promises such a delivering the Equality Act, reversing the trans military ban and switching back to Obama-era strategies are likely to take months if not years to enact.
According to Washington Blade, Gen. Lloyd Austin, who has been assigned by Biden to lead the Defense Department, is in favour of the reversal of the trans military ban: “I support the plan to overturn the ban, I truly believe that if you’re a fit and you’re qualified to serve and you can maintain the standards, you should be allowed to serve.”
The Washington Blade says that the reversal of the ban could take up to a year.
Writing for GCN in the run-up to the US Elections last year, Katherine Zappone recalled the moment Joe Biden astounded everyone and made a speech in which he strongly supported same-sex marriage:
“We have in Joe Biden a strong ally who as Vice President broke ranks to declare his support for Marriage Equality.
“On May 6, 2012, Joe was appearing on the most influential Sunday television political talk show of them all – Meet the Press. It was to be routine, with the West Wing expecting the then Vice President to stick to his talking points, yet it would turn out to be a pivotal moment. Biden broke ranks from a yet to be fully convinced President Obama and declared his support for Marriage Equality.
“To an astounded host and viewers across the US, he declared, ‘Who do you love? Who do you love? And will you be loyal to the person you love? And that’s what people are finding out is what all marriages, at their root, are about.’
“Coming from a politician previously known as a social conservative this was seismic. Some argue that he simply jumped the gun in going public on a White House position which had yet to be revealed – but personally I don’t buy that. When I met Joe Biden during a visit to Ireland in 2016 I found him as someone keenly aware of many social justice issues.”
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