Background Brief: Trans and Non-Binary Individuals' Rights

Policy and Advocacy

During President Obama’s tenure, the Department of Education (ED) issued a May 2016 Dear Colleague Letter1(DCL) instructing institutions clearly and for the first time that under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (Title IX), “a school must not treat a transgender student differently from the way it treats other students of the same gender identity” and doing so without “requiring students to produce ... identification documents in order to treat them consistent with their gender identity.” The DCL’s open acknowledgement of the rights of trans studentswas just one of many local, state, and federal actions to protect trans and gender non-binary individuals.