The current presidential administration’s ongoing assault on transgender and gender-nonconforming United States residents may become encoded in its gender discrimination policy. The New York Times reported yesterday (October 21) that the Department of Health and Human Services released a memo arguing for a definition of gender that functionally prohibits these communities from federal recognition.

The Times says that a draft version of the memo it obtained advocates to define sex and gender, under Title IX, as binary and determined “on a biological basis that is clear, grounded in science, objective and administrable.” 

“Sex means a person’s status as male or female based on immutable biological traits identifiable by or before birth,” The Times quotes from the memo, which it says has circulated internally since being drafted last spring. “The sex listed on a person’s birth certificate, as originally issued, shall constitute definitive proof of a person’s sex unless rebutted by reliable genetic evidence.”

The report prompted immediate backlash for attempting to include a legal definition of sex under Title IX, the federal law that bans discrimination on the basis of sex for government-funded education programs. It would also essentially erase millions of transgender and gender-nonconforming people out of legal recognition or protection. The hashtag #WontBeErased trended on Twitter today (October 22) as people from organizations representing these communities, as well as their allies, used social media to uplift resistance to the memo recommendations. Here are some examples: