Hollywood films ‘had fewer LGBT characters in 2017’

Hollywood films 'had fewer LGBT characters in 2017'

Valkyrie’s (centre) bisexuality is not mentioned in Thor: Ragnarok The Hollywood film industry has been criticised for a drop in the number of LGBT characters in film in 2017.

The Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) found that 12% of mainstream releases featured LGBT characters last year.

That was down from 18% in 2016 and is the lowest level recorded by GLAAD, which started the index six years ago.

GLAAD’s study did find some positives, including that the racial diversity of characters had improved in 2017.

Of the 109 studio films released last year, 14 featured LGBT characters, according to the Studio Responsibility Index. Of those LGBT characters, 43% were white, with 28.5% black and 28.5% Latin American.

Examples include Zoe Kravitz’s character Blair in Rough Night and Demian Bichir’s character Lope in Alien: Covenant.

GLAAD president Sarah Kate Ellis said there had been some signs of "welcome progress" in 2018 with films like Love, Simon; Annihilation; and Blockers. Black Panther has been criticised for not developing character’s sexualities in the film She said: "If Hollywood wants to remain relevant with these audiences and keep them buying tickets, they must create stories that are reflective of the world LGBTQ people and our friends and family know.

"This needs to take place in the major studio releases that play in wide release all over the country – and indeed, all around the world – as well as in the indie films that have long been home to stand-out queer and trans stories."

There was criticism for some superhero movies, such as Thor: Ragnarok, which cut a scene that would have confirmed the character Valkyrie as bisexual.

The group also noted how the sexualities of comic book characters Wonder Woman, Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn didn’t make it into film adaptations.

Of the "inclusive" studio films, 64% featured gay men, 36% had lesbian characters and 14% included bisexual characters, but none had transsexual or non-binary characters. Follow us on Facebook , on Twitter @BBCNewsEnts , or on Instagram at bbcnewsents . If you have a story suggestion email entertainment.news@bbc.co.uk.

LGBT Travelers Shouldn’t Just Visit Queer-Friendly Countries

LGBT Travelers Shouldn't Just Visit Queer-Friendly Countries

LGBT Travelers Shouldn't Just Visit Queer-Friendly Countries Because of my position within the LGBT travel community, my friends have expressed passionate arguments for boycotting antigay destinations I’ve visited. For them, the decision to boycott is clear: they just won’t visit because they believe they shouldn’t give LGBT tourism dollars to known anti-gay destinations. For me it comes down to one question: by visiting, can I actually make a difference?

I have personally witnessed the transformative power of sharing my story in places that were less than gay friendly. I have also experienced the impact just one traveler can make, let alone hundreds or thousands. My experiences have shaped my perspective and they’re what compels me to share my gay story while traveling to antigay destinations.

In the ’90s, there was a decision made by a certain island nation to refuse docking to a gay charter cruise. At the time, a PriceWaterhouse survey found cruise passengers spent an average of $124 each at every port of call. I knew from experience gay travelers spent even more. I recall being dumbfounded by the island’s seemingly shortsided decision. In a subsequent personal trip to that same island, my same-sex traveling companion and I made the commitment to display a simple act of defiance — holding hands as we walked through a busy shopping district. Although we received a few questionable side glances, the vast majority of people who engaged with us were positive. And one interaction changed my view on this topic forever.

A young man, around 18 or 19, seemed to be lingering nearby for an extended period of time, and at a pivotal moment, when he felt no one was watching, he looked up, caught my eye, and mouthed the words, “thank you.” Then he turned and quickly walked across the square. My heart broke for what I could only imagine his story might be. The possibility of him residing on a small island unaccepting of who he knew himself to be was all but crushing. The silver lining for us was that if our simple act of defiance gave him any respite or hope for the future in that brief encounter, then it was well worth traveling to this island.

Through my own travel experiences, I can also personally attest to the fact that the economic impact of the LGBT traveler changes opinions, too. I was in a shop in a less-than-gay-friendly destination making a purchase with my boyfriend at the time. As the shopkeeper rang us up, he said, “You guys really like to shop. I can’t wait to see the faces of my friends who didn’t want your group to come here when they see how much money I made today! Thank you for helping our struggling community.”

So, how do you envision our world in 50 years? All of us at VACAYA believe sharing our stories and giving back while traveling, whether to destinations which are antigay or uber-friendly, reflects our commitment to the idea we can all make a difference.

PATRICK GUNN is chief marketing officer for VACAYA , a new LGBT-focused travel company. Must-Watch New Series

Caitlyn Jenner calls Trump ‘worst president’ on LGBT issues, says she won’t support his re-election

Caitlyn Jenner calls Trump 'worst president' on LGBT issues, says she won't support his re-election

Caitlyn Jenner: Easier to come out as trans than Republican Though she’s an unapologetic Republican, Caitlyn Jenner says she won’t be supporting President Trump’s 2020 re-election because she has been "disappointed" in his views on LGBTQ issues.

Jenner called Trump the “worst president we have ever had” when it comes to representing the LGBTQ community in a recent interview with Broadly .

The former Olympic athlete and reality TV star has faced fierce backlash from peers since she revealed she voted for Trump in the 2016 election. At the time, she said it was harder to come out as transgender than as a member of the Republican Party.

"I would rather convince the Republican Party to do a better job when it comes to all LGBT issues than to try to convince the Democrats to lower taxes and lower regulations and let our country thrive financially and economically," Jenner told "Tucker Carlson Tonight" in April 2017.

Jenner now says she plans on "working from the inside" to get the Trump administration to understand her viewpoint on social issues. “I think it’s good that I’m on the Republican side because the Republicans know that, and I have an immediate in with them to change their minds." – Caitlyn Jenner “I think it’s good that I’m on the Republican side because the Republicans know that, and I have an immediate in with them to change their minds,” Caitlyn told the site. “The Republicans need the most work when it comes to our issues … I’m not the type of person who is going to stand on a street corner with a sign and jump up and down. No, I’m going to go have dinner with these people.”

That’s why, Jenner explained, she attended Trump’s inauguration, where she had a "great conversation" with Vice President Mike Pence.

“He did some really anti-LGBT community stuff,” she said. “I know that. He’s also very Christian. He’s kinda like, from our standpoint, the real enemy. But that’s OK, I can handle that.”

Jenner told Pence she’d like to share her transition story with him and discuss various topics of importance within her community.

"‘You know what, I would love to do that,’" Jenner recalls Pence telling her, though she admits that conversation has not yet happened. When it comes to the 2020 election, Jenner said she won’t be backing Trump — and hopes "we can get somebody a little better," clarifying that she votes for the person, not the party.

“I want [Trump] to know politically I am disappointed, obviously. I don’t want our community to go backwards,” she told Broadly. “Just leave us alone, that’s all we want."

In the interview, published Tuesday, Jenner also threw shade at the Kardashians who she accused of "bashing" her alongside the trans community. Kim and Khloe have been open about supporting their mom, Kris Jenner, in the couple’s December 2014 divorce .

Khloe explained in an episode of "Keeping Up With the Kardashians" that Caitlyn’s transition was sudden and didn’t give her much time to process. In a November 2017 interview with Piers Morgan for "Life Stories," Jenner said she hadn’t spoken to Khloe in years.

"’I don’t talk about that side of the family, I spent 23 years of my life with those kids it’s difficult to talk about it, terribly, terribly sad," Jenner told Morgan, according to the Daily Mail . "I’ve lost all relationship with them, yes, I don’t talk to any of them anymore."

Colton Haynes wants Hollywood to do better for gay actors

Colton Haynes wants Hollywood to do better for gay actors

Actor Colton Haynes has called out Hollywood on its lack of LGBT representation in a series of tweets that have now been deleted.

Haynes called for more opportunity for minorities, should they be members of the LGBT community or from a religious or ethnic minority. He tweeted his thoughts on being a gay actor in Hollywood on Sunday, before deleting his thread – but not before they were picked up by websites including Out .

The actor, who has starred in several productions including The CW’s Arrow , Teen Wolf and American Horror Story , wrote: ”Hollywood is a very odd place. I’ve been here for 12 yrs. I just pray that the LGBTQ+ community gets more chances to star in roles.”

“We’ve had amazing trailblazers & ppl who’ve made it thru the criticism thk god. It doesn’t have to be me, but this town is run by our community,” he added.

“Just because you like the same sex doesn’t mean you can’t carry a film.”

Haynes also discussed Hollywood’s general lack of diversity, pushing for more diverse casts: “It’s not just the LGBT+ community but it’s also ppl of color, minorities… give us all a chance.”

The actor acknowledged the industry’s recent efforts to be more inclusive, but added: “Every single person deserves a shot at their dreams no matter their sex, ethnicity, or background.” Haynes comments came just days before GLAAD published a report highlighting that LGBT representation was down in Hollywood in 2017. In its sixth annual Studio Responsibility Index , the LGBT advocacy group said that representation had gone even worse in the past year.

The index records the number of LGBT people featured in films released by the seven biggest motion picture studios.

In 2017, only 14 major motion pictures featured LGBT characters, and only 28 openly LGBT characters appeared on-screen.

These numbers are down from 70 in 2015 and 47 in 2016.

“At a time when the entertainment industry is holding much-needed discussions about inclusion, now is the time to ensure the industry takes meaningful action and incorporates LGBTQ stories and creators as among priorities areas for growing diversity,” said GLAAD chief executive Sarah Kate Ellis.

Haynes split up from his husband of six months, Jeff Leatham in early May. The pair got married in November 2017. Colton Haynes and Jeff Leatham attend FX Networks celebration of their Emmy nominees in partnership with Vanity Fair at Craft on September 16, 2017 in Century City, California. (Charley Gallay/Getty) The couple cited irreconcilable differences as their cause for separation.

Rumours that Leatham had been unfaithful surfaced soon after the announcement.

Haynes set the record straight on Twitter, writing: “Jeff would never cheat. He’s an amazing man. Please stop being mean to him.”

This is how Oscar Wilde is like Drag Race, according to Rupert Everett

This is how Oscar Wilde is like Drag Race, according to Rupert Everett

(VH1 / Getty) Actor Rupert Everett has made a fantastic connection between iconic playwright Oscar Wilde and the gay phenomenon of RuPaul’s Drag Race .

Everett, who stars in the upcoming Oscar Wilde biopic The Happy Prince , compared the playwright to RuPaul’s Drag Race , the renowned drag competition show currently in its 13th season.

Everett told Attitude : “I think there is a connection between Drag Race and Oscar Wilde.

“That performance level and that irony towards your own kind, which is what Wilde was about.” (VH1) The openly gay actor went on to claim that drag queens were now the only people allowed to be ironic.

Everett added: “That tongue-in-cheek thing, which drag queens still have but the rest of us aren’t allowed any more.”

The 58-year-old also heavily praised Wilde for his role in starting the LGBT rights movement, even before LGBT rights were a concept.

“The gay liberation movement really starts with Oscar Wilde. In one sense, he’s the centre of what we’re living now,” Everett said. Rupert Everett as Oscar Wilde (Lionsgate) The openly gay actor made the comments ahead of the release of The Happy Prince , in which Everett stars as well as writing and directing the feature.

Due in cinemas June 15, The Happy Prince is a biographical drama based on Wilde’s final years and his imprisonment for homosexuality.

The Picture of Dorian Gray writer, who had a string of male lovers, was famously arrested and sent to Reading Gaol in 1895. He died in 1900, just three years after being released from prison. (Jeff Spicer/Getty Images) In the film, Wilde is penniless, downtrodden and dying in Paris, but still with the wit, insightfulness and beautiful way with words that made him such a wonderful writer.

The film features Academy Award-winner Colin Filth as Reggie Turner, a friend and contemporary of Wilde.

Colin Morgan, Emily Watson, Tom Wilkinson, Anna Chancellor and Edwin Thomas also feature in the upcoming film. (Lionsgate Films UK) A synopsis for the film outlines: “Out of prison but a pariah, Wilde swings between grief and a determination to wrest whatever pleasure and beauty he can from the time he has left.

“His body ailing and heavy, his mind spinning, he survives by falling back on the flamboyant irony and brilliant wit that defined him.”

In 2016, the prison where Oscar Wilde served time for ‘gross indecency’ featured an art exhibition dedicated to him .

The famous playwright and poet, who had a string of male lovers, was famously arrested and sent to Reading Gaol in 1895 for for gross indecency with men, under the UK’s historic anti-gay laws.

Wilde served two years behind bars in Reading Gaol, penned the work ‘De Profundis’ from behind bars.

His time in prison was the basis for his final ever work ‘The Ballad of Reading Gaol’. a long poem that reflects on the harsh rhythms of his daily prison life.

Watch the trailer for The Happy Prince below

Primark’s Pride collection is made in countries where it’s illegal to be gay

Primark’s Pride collection is made in countries where it’s illegal to be gay

Foreground: Primark’s new LGBT Pride collection. Background: LGBT supporters run from tear gas fired by police after attempting to march in Istanbul, Turkey (Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images) Primark’s Pride merchandise range is being made in countries where gay people face violence and persecution.

The discount clothing chain this week announced that it will start selling Pride-themed clothing at a select number of stores across the UK, Europe and US to celebrate Pride events.

The range of rainbow-themed t-shirts, caps and accessories were produced as part of a partnership with LGBT charity Stonewall, which will receive 20 percent of the proceeds. However both organisations are now facing questions – after admitting the clothes are being made in places where it’s illegal to be gay.

A spokesperson for Primark confirmed that the products are “manufactured in China, Turkey and Myanmar… in accordance with internationally recognised standards.”

All three countries have an abysmal record on LGBT rights.

Gay people in Turkey are routinely subjected to violence and persecution, with human rights groups condemning shocking scenes of police brutality against the LGBT community in the country.

At last year’s Istanbul Pride event, police used rubber bullets and dogs to disperse crowds of LGBT activists who had defied an official ban to march at the event.

Homosexuality is still technically illegal in Myanmar, with punishments ranging from ten years to life in prison. Meanwhile China has engaged on a crusade of censorship against the LGBT community, as well as attempting to clamp down on depictions of LGBT people in public life.

In the past year Chinese internet censors have begun to enforce a ban on “abnormal sexual behaviour” , while social networking companies in the country have attempted to clamp down on LGBT people online .

Stonewall defended its partnership with Primark.

In a statement it said: “When Primark decided to launch a summer Pride range we were proud and pleased that they approached us about a partnership. They want to work with us to help embed long-term, generational change for LGBT people in the UK and internationally.

“This funding will help us run programmes that empower LGBT young people and marginalised groups within the community.” It added: “This partnership with Primark will also support our international programmes, which over the past 12 months have supported nearly 100 activists from across Eastern Europe, Central Asia, the Caucasus and South Africa.

“We deliberately work with a wide variety of organisations, in countries across the world, to ensure that positive change can be a reality for every lesbian, gay, bi and trans person.

“Through our Global Diversity Champions programme – of which Primark is a member – we work with organisations that operate in extremely difficult contexts.

“We give these organisations the tools to create workplaces that, despite the legislative landscape, are inclusive and supportive of LGBT people and LGBT equality. And through our Global Workplace Briefings, we connect them with local LGBT groups on the ground, wherever possible.”

The UK Pride Organisers Network had previously slammed the deal.

It said: “The Network was disappointed to see that proceeds [are] not being donated to the Pride organisations that organise these events.

“Instead, it is being given to Stonewall who, whilst they attend some Prides, do not organise the events themselves.

“All Pride organisations are voluntary bodies that struggle every year to raise the funds necessary to hold these major public events, most of which are free to attend. In the last week, in one city where Primark will be selling these products, the Pride has announced it is scaling back its event due to a lack of funds. This is a daily reality for most Pride organisers. “Stonewall have been critical of Prides in the past, and this is an insult to those Prides who sell their own merchandise to raise funds for their events.

“We urge everyone who wants to support their local Pride to do so by purchasing merchandise from them, or from stall holders at the event.”

But Stonewall said: “We are extremely proud of our partnership with Primark and we know this doesn’t take away the need for more funding for Prides and other community-based LGBT organisations who are integral to our fight for equality.

“That’s why we will continue to work, alongside employers and organisations, to support the work of local and community LGBT groups.

“We are extremely excited to attend more community Pride events this year than we ever have before. We’re looking forward to celebrating our diverse LGBT communities and talking to thousands of LGBT people around Britain this summer.”

Stonewall added: “This year we’re hosting six Youth Pride events, open to anyone aged 16-21, at Prides including Birmingham Pride, UK Black Pride, Bristol Pride, Cardiff Pride and Manchester.”

It also noted: “This partnership also enables us to empower LGBT people to create change in their communities. For example, this summer we’re hosting a workshop in Manchester, and one with trans community leaders, to help us work together on improving LGBT equality.”

Stonewal l publicly cut ties with Pride in London earlier this year after a reported fall-out between the charity and organisers.

The charity will boycott the capital’s Pride march on July 7. It is believed to be the first time in decades that Stonewall has not had any presence at the event.

This hilarious viral conversation sums up lesbian dating

This hilarious viral conversation sums up lesbian dating

(Pexels and YetiYogurt/reddit) Relationships are hard.

This is especially true if both of you are trying not to be too pushy.

And if neither of you have been told by a patriarchal society that you have the right to make the first move, things can quickly get complicated – and funny, if you’re lucky. (Pexels) A conversation on Tumblr – which has been upvoted more than 1,700 times since it was posted on Reddit – shows this phenomenon in action.

It all started with a comment sent to Tumblr user tenderlesbian, an 18-year-old who describes herself as a “femme dyke.”

The anonymous post read: “SOS I told the girl I like that I want a butch gf and she said ‘I’m butch’ and I got really flustered and went to go make dinner for us (bc I’m at her place tonight).” (YetiYogurt/Reddit) We’ve all been there, feeling startled and not sure what to say – except something didn’t quite add up.

Tenderlesbian responded: “uhh are you sure y’all arent on a date right now?”

After a brief pause, the reply came – and it was excellent. (Pexels) “Hi yes you were right I was on a date know how I found out?” she started.

“I was downstairs cooking dinner and she came up from behind me and wrapped her arms around me and kissed the back of my neck and when I flushed bright red she asked me why and then laughed when I said I had a crush on her bc she thought this was like our fifth date but I was just taking it slow.”

Tenderlesbian was stunned, admitting to her followers: “I don’t even know what to say.”

The revelation attracted praise and similar stories, all of which were incredibly sweet, relatable and hilarious.

One person wrote: “So this is actually like exactly what’s going on in my life, we’ve had two dates and the whole time both times I’m not sure if I can even call it a date and then right as I’m about to leave she kisses me and I just like melt.” (suegii/reddit) This is ridiculously lovely – if still confusing for its author.

Another wrote: “My last girlfriend didn’t know for two weeks that I thought she was my girlfriend after asking her to ‘be mine.’

“We were in my kitchen and I said something like ‘I’m so glad my girlfriend loves food like me’ and she pieced it together then and there. TWO WEEKS LATER.” (blake8123/reddit) One commenter said: “Lesbians are shockingly oblivious. It took two-and-a-half months of my now-girlfriend sleeping in my bed every night for me to realise she liked me.” (firstgendissident/reddit) The struggle is real.

Another commented: “An old GF and I didn’t know whether we were dating or not. We were in her car and I said, ‘Um, what… I mean, how do you feel… I guess I would like this to be more than a friendship.’

She said, ‘Oh my god, yes, me too,’ and ran off the road into a ditch.” (generic230/reddit) Communication: turns out it’s not just important; it’s potentially life-saving.

Another person said that “somewhat similar thing happened to me. i took my now gf of 7 years on a date but before the date i bought her flowers and a card that asked her to be my gf.”

But, she added, “it was a poem so she didn’t initially sink it in what i was asking and later at the end of the date she ended up asking me out. (foursixteeneleven/reddit) “And i’m like.. ???? cause i thought we had made it official already before the date hahaha.”

May all your romantic confusion be this adorable.

Dallas police identify and misgender trans woman found dead in a creek

Dallas police identify and misgender trans woman found dead in a creek

Dallas Police Department Dallas police have identified the trans woman whose body was found in a creek earlier this month.

The body belongs to Nicole Hall, a 39-year-old woman, the Dallas Police Department said on Tuesday.

The force initially misgendered Hall by referring to her as a “black male.” The tweet was later deleted and replaced with a second tweet correctly referring to Hall as a “transgender female.” Police announce identity of trans woman found in creek (Twitter) However, the Dallas PD elicited more backlash because they referred to the victim by her deadname, Eric, and not by her chosen name.

“Her name was Nicole. People knew her as Nicole. She lived her life as Nicole,” wrote one Twitter user.

Hall’s body was found by a kayaker on May 12 in White Rock Creek, Dallas. Identification proved difficult, as the body was badly decomposed.

According to local Fox News affiliate , the police produced several sketches of Hall’s face, asking people to come forward with information.

When her body was fished out of the water, Hall was wearing a T-shirt and black scrub pants. Before she could be identified, police described her as: “[a] black, transgender female approximately 5 feet, 3 inches, and weighing about 130 pounds.”

Hall was the 10th trans person to be found dead in the US this year. The cause of her death is yet to be determined.

However, the force said there was no evidence that Hall’s death was linked to the murder of Carla Patricia Flores-Pavon , who was strangled to death in her North Dallas apartment earlier in May. (Carla Patricia Flores-Pavon / Facebook) A suspect was arrested following a police investigation.

24 year old Jimmy Eugene Johnson III admitted to meeting up with and stealing from Flores-Pavon.

According to Dallas police, Johnson and Flores-Pavon met through an online chatroom.

Police ruled out a hate crime, stating that the victim was not targeted for her “transgender lifestyle,” and that the motive was purely robbery.

A vigil was held for her on May 16 at Dallas’ Cathedral of Hope.

On May 13, another transgender individual was murdered in Georgia , becoming the 11th trans death in the US in 2018.

Nina Fortson – also known as Nino Starr – was a trans-masculine and gender non-conforming Atlanta performer.

Fortson was shot dead after getting into an argument with four other people.

Atlanta police are not treating the case as a transphobic attack.

“Our preliminary investigation did not in any way indicate that this individual identified as transgender. We had no evidence that such an identification played any role in this death,” said a spokesperson for the Atlanta police department.

Fortson was also misgendered by local police forces.

28 trans people were killed in 2017 alone, making it the year with the highest number of homicides targeting trans or non-binary people in the US.

Transgender horse jockey Victoria Smith competes for first time since transitioning to female

Transgender horse jockey Victoria Smith competes for first time since transitioning to female

Jockeys at Warwick Racecourse. File photo. (Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images) A transgender horse jockey has competed for the first time since coming out.

Professional horse rider Victoria Smith won more than 250 races prior to her transition to female.

Smith, who has been living as female for more than a year but only announced her transition publicly in February, made a return to the sport as female this week.

Smith took part in Jockey Club Challenge, a charity race at Warwick Racecourse. Warwick Racecourse (Ross Kinnaird/Getty) She came in second place at the event, on her grey gelding Roy Rocket.

The race was won by Evie Brown, riding Catchin Time.

Speaking to the Mirror , Smith said: “It’s been great to get back in the saddle. File photo. Jockeys at Warwick racecourse (Alan Crowhurst/Getty) Ahead of the race, she added: “I suppose there might be a bit of banter or jokes in the weighing room but that doesn’t bother me. “I received plenty of stick from other jockeys over the years but I gave as good as I got. Had I been born in a female body, I wouldn’t have had the career I did. File photo. A general view of racing at Warwick Racecourse on January 14, 2017 in Warwick, England. (lan Crowhurst/Gett) “But I always knew my true gender, so riding as a woman will complete my life.”

She said previously: “I rode 250 winners as a man – and now I’ll win as a woman.”

Openly trans athletes in professional sport have caused a considerable debate regarding any potential advantage trans athletes may have over their cisgender competitors.

The International Olympic Committee recently implemented new rules that make it harder for transgender women to compete in female sports.

The level of testosterone allowed in female athletes halved for the 2020 Olympic Games in Toyko.

These rules are set to apply to 55 different Olympic sports including archery and wrestling, and may further impact transgender athletes’ ability to compete at the highest levels.

Openly transgender athletes have been allowed to compete in the Olympics since 2004, with the requirements that they had undergone gender confirmation surgery and had been on hormone therapy for two years.

These rules were relaxed in 2015, removing the requirement of gender confirmation surgery and lowering the required time on hormone therapy from two years to one.

Democrats call on the White House to stop Trump’s plan to allow doctors to refuse treatment to trans people

Democrats call on the White House to stop Trump’s plan to allow doctors to refuse treatment to trans people

(Mark Wilson/Getty ) A group of over 100 Democrats have called on the White House to reject a plan to allow doctors to deny treatment to trans people.

The policy recently announced by the Trump administration would allow healthcare professionals to refuse to treat LGBT+ people if they have a religious objection.

Trump’s proposed change, a part of wider Republican healthcare reform, would remove an Obama-era protection and would allow doctors, hospitals and health insurance companies to deny coverage or treatment for religious reasons. (Getty) Opponents of the removal highlight that this could mean that LGBT people and people who have had abortions could be legally refused healthcare.

On Wednesday, 127 Democrats in the House of Representatives called upon the director of the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to reject the proposal.

In a letter, the group of congresspeople wrote to OMB director Mick Mulvaney to reject the proposed legislation, stating the policy would be very harmful to women and LGBT people, who already often experience discrimination.

The congresspeople criticised the proposals as setting a dangerous precedent.

“No one should be denied health care because of who they are,” said Congressman Nadler of New York. (Mark Makela/Getty) Californian Congresswoman Brownley added: “Rolling back the Health Care Rights Law would open the door for health care providers and insurance companies to deny individuals care based on their personal beliefs, which would threaten women and LGBTQ individuals across the nation.”

The letter also highlighted that the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has recently removed guidance regarding gender identity and sexual orientation from their website.

In 2016, Mulvaney described Democratic efforts to protect LGBT+ people against discrimination as “a political move designed to shipwreck the appropriations process.” The Congressman has scored zero on the Human Rights Campaign’s ranking on LGBT equality for both of his terms in the House. (Astrid Riecken/Getty Images) In April, the Justice Department confirmed to the New York Times that the Department of Health and Human Services had submitted a draft of the new policy.

Trump’s proposed rule would remove an Obama-era protection and would allow doctors, hospitals and health insurance companies to deny coverage or treatment based on gender identity.

The 2016 rule was set up to complement other parts of the Affordable Care Act and banned health insurers from putting arbitrary limits on trans healthcare or discriminating based on gender identity.

Due to this rule, transgender Americans were able to access gender confirmation surgeries which previously could have cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images) Despite mass criticism about the removal of the protections, the policy is set to be rolled out despite estimated costs of over $300 million .

This potential rule follows a legal challenge against the anti-discrimination rules by a group of medical professionals.

A federal judge in Texas stopped the protections based on gender identity , stating that in the law, Congress had banned discrimination based on sex but argued that this did not include gender identity.