CHICAGO, Nov. 8, 2018, Colonel Jennifer Pritzker issued the below statement in response to the Oct. 21, 2018, New York Times article on reported efforts by the Trump administration to narrowly define gender. Pritzker is a retired Lieutenant Colonel from the U.S. Army and was made an Honorary Colonel in the Illinois Army National Guard. She is also a parent, philanthropist, businesswoman, historian and a transgendered woman.
Statement by Colonel Jennifer Pritzker
I firmly oppose a government-mandated definition of sex as assigned at birth. I am not a one-issue voter and have supported many Republicans in elections. However, the recent memo regarding the proposed Trump administration policy on gender, President Trump’s position on open transgendered military service, and issues that are dividing this country have caused me to pause and review.
Defining sex as “a biological, immutable condition determined at birth by genitalia,” disregards the internal, emotional experience of gender identity. It also denies acknowledgment of the transgendered community and strips us of our civil rights.
Rather than further perpetuate misinformation to appease far-right conservative groups, I encourage the administration to learn from organizations following a science-based, human-rights approach to better understand gender and human sexuality diversity. Available resources include The World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH), University of Minnesota Medical School’s Program in Human Sexuality and the Williams Institute at UCLA School of Law.
The medical community has known for decades that sex and gender cannot be determined solely by birth anatomy or chromosomes (Money & Ehrhardt, 1972). This fact is well understood and accepted by mainstream medical and scientific societies such as the National Academy of Medicine, American Medical Association, American Academy of Pediatrics, American College of Obstetricians and Gynecology, and American Psychiatric Association.
Yesterday, we upheld anti-discrimination protections for transgender people when the state of Massachusetts voted yes to adding gender identity to the list of prohibited grounds for discrimination in places of public accommodation and recognized gender identity as separate from a person’s physiology or assigned sex at birth.
The more educated we are on the issues, the more effectively we can work toward solutions. This is crucial for an administration facing a polarized nation. If we truly want to “Make America Great” we need to open our minds and learn about all sides of the issues, including those outside of our worldview.
I would like to volunteer my services to the Trump administration in acquiring credible academic and scientific studies regarding transgender identity to help them make informed policy decisions.
Rather than restricting the rights to a large and growing LGBTQ community, our leaders time would be better spent on uniting the country for the good of our communities, states and nation.