The Trump Administration’s attempts to rescind trans students’ domestic legislative protections is part of a new period of backlash against trans rights progress globally. This article examines the USA’s changing role concerning trans students in education policy and rights progress internationally. It outlines developments in transnational policy for trans students. It contextualises US leadership in this policy area, particularly US President Obama and US President Trump’s use of executive powers. It considers theoretical conceptualisations of trans rights ‘progress’ using the work of queer and trans theorists, before analysing data from 60 interviews with key informants participating high-level global networking for trans students’ rights, documenting how stakeholders characterise recent US contributions. Several informants identi ed a period of ‘progress’ in trans rights during the Obama Administration, but others were more sceptical of such claims and critical of recent policy change by the US Government’s Trump Administration. Alternative models for Northern and Southern engagement in global networking for trans students’ rights are outlined and discussed.
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