CDC forbidden to use the word “transgender” and 7 other phrases
The full list of forbidden words include “vulnerable,” “entitlement,” “diversity,” “transgender,” “fetus,” “evidence-based” and “science-based,” according to The Washington Post. For some phrases, officials were urged to use alternative wording. Instead of “science-based”, officials were suggested to use “CDC bases its recommendations on science in consideration with community standards and wishes”. For other phrases, no such suggestions were made.
At this time, it is uncertain if other agencies of the US Health & Human Services – which the CDC operates under – have been forbidden to use these words as well. Offices at the CDC deal with many issues that affect transgender individuals, such as HIV and AIDS. Being forbidden to use these words directly hinder their efforts. Trump is expected to release his 2019 budget in early February. The timing of the ban is not a coincidence and will effect the budget and materials given to the CDC and to Congress.
This is another obvious attempt at trans-erasure from the Trump Administration and sets a dangerous precedent. In January, people were outraged to learn LGBT-specific pages were missing or removed from the incoming administrations website. LGBT issues were also removed from several government agencies, including the HHS. Trump refused to acknowledge June as Pride month. The following month, Trump announced a ban of transgender individuals from enlisting in the military via twitter, which was eventually blocked in federal court.
The Trump Administration open hostility towards the LGBT community has become a common theme in 2017 and we expect it to continue for 2018. Banning the words end-goal is to erase Transgender people’s existence on paper and make researching these subjects harder. We must continue to resist these harmful policies and raise awareness and visibility to combat their efforts.