I’ve been an unhealthy mix of sad, disappointed, pissed, worried and ready to take action since learning that the Trump administration would rescind the federal guidance support for transgender student’s use of restrooms and other single sex spaces.
Being differently gendered, C.J. has been bullied at school – with the worst incident occurring in the bathroom.
He was in first grade when he peed his pants in class and sat in his own urine for hours after boys in the bathroom tried to forcefully see if he had a penis or vagina. Because his gender expression is feminine leaning, the kids at school had been debating which genitals he possessed. The boys in the bathroom wanted to settle the debate once and for all.
Read more about the incident here: When The Boys’ Room Isn’t Safe For A Boy
There are specific actions that you can take to support trans students. Here’s what I shared on my Facebook page after seeing it on a friend’s page:
Prepare) Know the facts about the withdrawal of federal guidance on transgender students. These FAQs are the best I’ve found.
0) Call your elected officials. This is Step 0 because you should already be doing this.
1) Write letters to the editor. Write your local paper(s) about why you support trans rights. Reference whatever recent news story catches your eye; right now this would be Title IX
2) Contact your local school board(s). Ask if they have trans-supportive policies. If they do, thank them. If they don’t, ask how those policies could be implemented.
2a) Work to implement those policies in your community.
3) Donate to orgs like the National Center for Transgender Equality, the ACLU, the Transgender Law Center, or other orgs that are Doing The Work.
4) Make sure your friends are doing all this, too.
Finally and most importantly:
If a transgender or non-binary identified student experiences discrimination at school, there is legal assistance to help. Please contact any of these legal organizations for assistance:
National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) – nclrights.org
Transgender Law Center – transgenderlawcenter.org
GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders (GLAD) – glad.org
American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) – aclu.org
Lambda Legal – lambdalegal.org