On July 1st, the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced a new rule allowing homeless shelters to ignore the gender identity of transgender individuals (Vox). The new rule does not allow homeless shelters to exclude transgender people, but it lets homeless shelters determine housing based on gender assigned at birth (Vox). Vox obtained a copy of this new rule that describes tactics that homeless shelters can use to identity transgender women (Vox). The Trump administration suggests looking at factors such as height, the presence of facial hair, a visible Adam’s apple, and other physical characteristics (Vox).
Advocates say this rule targets both transgender women and cisgender women with masculine features, which could put both at harm in male shelters (Vox). HUD Secretary Ben Carson has criticized protections for transgender women before referring to them as “big hairy men” who impede on the rights of cisgender women (LGBTQ Nation). Transgender activists see this as another attack on a group of people who already suffer from high rates of homelessness (LGBTQ Nation). These proposals by the Trump administration and HUD are the latest in a long line of anti-transgender policies (Vox).