The Republican Party is right about most things. On LGBT issues, it’s dead wrong. On Sunday, the New York Times detailed a leaked memo from the Department of Health and Human Services that proposed strictly defining gender as one’s biological sex assigned at birth. This has been met with cheers from my friends in the GOP. But I’d like to say, “Not so fast, pal.”

I know the GOP better than most people. At 20, I was elected to represent Georgia as an alternate-delegate to the Republican National Convention. I spent the next two years campaigning for Republicans up and down the ballot. I have had the opportunity to get to know many politicians and party leaders personally, and they are mostly good people who are simply misinformed on LGBT issues.

I came to LSU to study political communication because I have looked my party in the eye and I want to change it. I’m on a proverbial mission to civilize.

The GOP cannot sit idly by while the President we are constantly placating spits in the face of his transgender constituents. Transgender individuals deserve the same dignity and humanity that cisgender people are unthinkingly given. A transgender woman is a woman. A transgender man is a man. At some point we must ask who is being helped by denying this? 

If the party will not call Trump out, I will. I appreciate the strides Trump has made by reviving confidence in the economy, getting Neil Gorsuch onto the Supreme Court, making progress in foreign policy by moving the US embassy in Israel to Jerusalem and opening negotiation with North Korea. However, I fail to see how removing protections for transgender individuals helps anybody.

I am going on record to say one thing: this is the hill I want to die on.

Piper Hutchinson is a 22-year-old mass communication sophomore from Perry, Georgia.

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