The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) under former secretary Ben Carson imposed a rule that allowed employees to turn away transgender women and girls at federally-funded homeless shelters, but President Biden signed an executive order immediately after taking office conferring that the Supreme Court ruling that gender identity is covered by the Civil Rights Act of 1964 should be recognized by all federal departments.
To that end, current HUD Secretary Marcia Fudge is scrapping the Trump era rule against sheltering transgender women.
“Access to safe, stable housing — and shelter — is a basic necessity,” Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Marcia Fudge said in a statement. “Unfortunately, transgender and gender non-conforming people report more instances of housing instability and homelessness than cis-gender people. Today, we are taking a critical step in affirming HUD’s commitment that no person be denied access to housing or other critical services because of their gender identity. HUD is open for business for all.”
The Trump administration intended to undo the Obama administration’s trans-inclusive policy, and it would have allowed employees at federally funded shelters, citing their religious beliefs, to turn away transgender people.
When Ben Carson signed off on the old policy, he said it was intended to "protect women" with the obvious implication being that transgender women didn't count as women in the eyes of our former government.
My own lived experience is that any transgender woman would have to be relatively desperate to seek out a homeless shelter in the first place because cisgender women are just as likely as anyone to treat them with hostility. It's a last resort and anyone in that vulnerable position should not have to worry about hostility from shelter employees as well.
This was one of Trump's most cruel policies and discrimination should never be sanctioned by official government policy. Many girls like me are understandably skeptical if not cynical about elections and politicians in general, but I am not because I know elections have consequences. The consequence of electing Trump was codified transphobia and the consequence of electing Biden is repealing all of that.