Word Ban at the CDC and How it will Affect Our Community

Please read the statement below from our Health & Wellness Coordinator, Bianca Mayes:

I’m writing to inform you about a recent Trump administration order that will ban certain words
at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, such as “Transgender”. My name is Bianca
Mayes and I am the new Health & Wellness Coordinator at Garden State Equality.

This recent order will ban America’s top public health agency from using seven terms in official
reports and documents. These seven terms include: “vulnerable,” “entitlement,” “diversity,”
“transgender,” “fetus,” “evidence-based” and “science-based.” Censoring these terms will lead to
further stigma and discrimination of sexual orientation, gender identity, and abortion rights.
Additionally, this censorship will further exclude federal policies and the collection of
government information of LGBT Americans.

It’s important for you to know that Garden State Equality is committed to protecting the needs of
the LGBT community. Last March, The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)
abandoned questions regarding sexual orientation and gender identity in two surveys specifically
for older adults. Our commitment to the community has inspired us to partner with Green
Hill: Senior Living and SAGE NJ to administer a statewide LGBT older adults needs
assessment survey.

This survey will give older adults the opportunity to identify their sexual orientations and/or
gender identities as well as identify their needs for Housing, Continuation of Care, Safety,
Healthcare, and Access to Care.

Additionally, as the Trump Administration begins to erase our community from national
surveys, we are committed to passing legislation in NJ mandating the collection of SOGI (sexual
orientation/gender identity) data. We recently let you know about two bills that have passed the
Assembly and Senate, requiring SOGI data collection in higher education and certain state
agencies. In 2018 we will push for the collection of SOGI data on the Behavioral Risk Factor
Surveillance System, the Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System, and in the homeless youth
Point-in- Time-Count Surveys.

Finally, we recognize the significant need to identify LGBT clinically and culturally competent
health care providers for LGBT people living in New Jersey and are aggressively developing our
Map and Expand Project.
Please feel free to reach out if you have any questions. We are here to help.


Bianca Mayes
Health & Wellness Coordinator
Garden State Equality