October 26, 2018 – On Sunday, the New York Times reported that “The Trump administration is considering narrowly defining gender as a biological, immutable condition determined by genitalia at birth” and that “health and human services is preparing to formally present the new definition to the Justice Department before the end of the year.”

“At Oregon Food Bank, we care deeply about people experiencing hunger and hold them in the center of all we do; and we affirm and value the wide range of diversity of the human experience,” said Susannah Morgan, CEO of Oregon Food Bank. “The administration is questioning the right of transgender people to be  the people they know themselves to be and experience dignity and lived equality.”

As a Williams Institute report documents, the LGBTQ community experiences hunger at a disproportionate rate. At the time of the report’s release, almost 30 percent of LGBTQ adults experienced a time in the last year when they did not have enough money to feed themselves or their family. This is particularly true for transgender people, who are among the most vulnerable in the LGBT community.

“Laws, policies, and practices that deny lived-experiences, identity, and humanity, such as those the administration has proposed, further marginalize communities, which in turn, increases food insecurity,” said Morgan.

Oregon Food Bank celebrates the work of transgender communities who are shifting culture and policy to support transgender equality.  We recognize Senator Jeff Merkley for introducing—and Senator Ron Wyden for co-sponsoring—the Equality Act (S. 1006), which would provide consistent and explicit non-discrimination protections for LGBTQ people by including sexual orientation and gender identity as protected characteristics. Additionally, we recognize Reps. Blumenauer, Bonamici, DeFazio, and Schrader for co-sponsoring identical House legislation, H.R. 2282.

 Tasos Katopodis/Bloomberg via Getty Images



If you want to help advance equality for transgender Oregonians, contact Basic Rights Oregon:  503-222-6151 basicrights.org.

If you need support related to the impact of these proposed changes or to other experiences, there are several resources available:

Multnomah County Mental Health Line: 503-988-4888 / Toll-free: 800-716-9769 / Hearing-impaired dial: 711

Multnomah Co. Urgent Walk-In Clinic: The clinic can help anyone experiencing a mental health crisis at no cost.

  • 4212 SE Division St., Portland
  • Hours7 am – 10:30 pm, seven days a week
  • Receive immediate care during a mental health crisis
  • Speak to a psychiatrist or a mental health nurse practitioner
  • Get help with medication and treatment

Cascadia Urgent Walk-In Clinic

  • Open every day from 7:30am – 10:30pm
  • Serves Adults, Children, and Families
  • 2415 SE 43rd Portland

Other area mental health crisis lines:

Clackamas County

Washington County

Clark County


National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255