Hundreds of protestors crowded LOVE Park to oppose a controversial draft proposal by the Department of Health and Human Services on Tuesday regarding gender law.
The draft proposal aims to define gender as “either male or female based on biological traits identifiable by or before birth.”
1.4 million Americans currently identify as a gender other than the one they were born into according to a 2016 study conducted by The Williams Institute.
This proposal could mean transgender and non-binary persons could have their insurance deny them transition-related care and more because they are no longer the gender they were born into.
Dr. Rachel Levine, Pennsylvania Secretary of Health stood in front of hundreds of protestors to make her stance clear.
“I am an out and proud transgender woman, and I will not be erased,” Dr. Levine proclaimed. “As an American woman, I have my equal protection under the law.”
Many protestors felt the government is trying to strip their identity and erase them as people.
Transgender individuals are currently protected under United States civil rights laws but could soon see their recognition and protection taken away if this proposal is approved.
Some protestors felt they were being targeted, and feared for the next group of people after them. Jennifer Angelina Petro, a transgender woman, questioned why she and others in the trans community were being targeted for their rights.
“Where is it going to end,” Petro questioned. “ Who are they going to try to erase next? People of color? Muslims? Who are they going after next?”