Vermont gubernatorial candidate Christine Hallquist, who is transgender, had choice words for President Donald Trump after news broke that his administration is considering changing federal policy to no longer recognize transgender people.
“Wow. Sure as hell hope I win this election! The Trump administration is going to get a can of whoop-ass from me!” Hallquist tweeted in response to an October 21 New York Times story that revealed that Trump officials are discussing defining gender based on the genitals a person is born with.
The Times reported that “the new definition would essentially eradicate federal recognition of the estimated 1.4 million Americans who have opted to recognize themselves — surgically or otherwise — as a gender other than the one they were born into.”
That includes Hallquist, who is the first transgender candidate nominated by a major party to run for governor. During an interview Monday, she speculated that if the administration goes through with the change, “I may not be able to travel … My passport currently says female but [Trump] could be revoking passports. He could be telling states that our enhanced [driver’s] licenses are not valid.”
“It’s a horrible thing,” Hallquist said. “Nobody should feel comfortable when the president starts wiping out entire populations.”
On Monday evening, Hallquist sent out a fundraising email based on the Times story. “I’m angry, and I know you are too,” it stated. “Think of how powerful it will be to have a trans Governor ready to fight back every time trans Americans — or any other marginalized community — are attacked.”
Asked for comment about the possible change, Gov. Phil Scott's communications director, Rebecca Kelley, provided the following written statement from the governor:
“Vermont’s state motto is ‘Freedom and Unity’ and both of those principles apply here. While there is always more work to do, we’ve made important progress in protecting the rights of our LGBTQ population, and towards acceptance and tolerance. We can’t roll it back, and a concerted effort to do so is unacceptable. It is more important than ever for Americans to focus on the areas where we agree and on what unites us, rather than creating unnecessary division.”