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
I can’t even imagine the alarm these rescinded rights are causing amongst American trans families. The best I can do from the other side of the world is share your stories with my limited audience and offer my support. It’s just heartbreaking.
Thank you for sharing your story. Please check out http://www.donaldtrumpdisorder.com.
Thank you for highlighting these points!
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Another great Blog entry. Thank you for fighting the good fight. There are a lot of older LGBTQ that are coming out of hiding to fight for the future. And I’m glad to see it.
To change a society, you need to educate the youth and wait for them to grow up. Smoking is a perfect example of how that works. We are changing, and the future looks better today for LGBTQ than ever before. Trump is there for 4 years. We have checks and balances in place to keep him from doing anything too drastic. We just have to stay active and let our senators and congressmen know its time to start working for the people or be replace. ONE thing that Trump has done that is good for America is that he has broken voter apathy. More people know who their representatives are and their phone numbers then ever before. Let’s hope that part remains when he’s gone.
Hugs to CJ. It’ll get better. But his confidence and self esteem would be better if he learned a martial art of some kind. And I dare say that just others having that knowledge will stave off tons of difficulties later in school. There are lots of fun ones like Hyper MMA. Martial arts is about defense, not offense.
Thank you for sharing steps that people can be taking to ensure that transgender students are being supported in their schools. Our children have the right to feel safe in school and receive the same educational experience as all other students.
I really feel for your son. This is one of the reasons I chose to homeschool my youngest. What bathroom would a kid use that’s biologically a boy, but likes to wear dresses and tutus? How about when their older brother has already been teased about being a girl over having long hair and a Rainbow Dash shirt and other “girls” shirts. He was so sensitive about it that he would often opt not to take off his jacket for class. I can’t imagine with a kid that doesn’t know which bathroom is safe to use! I just didn’t want to deal with it.
Sadly, a lot of schools are places where bullying happens. It’s not okay, but that’s the world we live in. Taking bathroom options away from kids is only going to affirm that bullying kids who don’t follow “normal” gender roles is okay. That needs to not happen. The message needs to be sent that kids are safe, whoever they are.
Its crazy how obsessed we are with whats in other peoples pants, jeans, skirts… What makes this really nuts is in some preschools they don’t have those privacy walls or doors that go on them and don’t have those problems. Children don’t seem to care whether or not it’s a male or a female using a bathroom right next to them. Is it our age that makes us so interested with such details.
I’m sorry for your son’s experience. My not trans-gendered son had a similar bathroom experience, but less sever than CJ’s. I agree with the above poster that we & the schools need to teach acceptance for those that are different. Both my boys have had long hair & often get called girls. My youngest had really long beautiful hair & he was with unfamiliar kids in the afterschool care program & later told me that some kids asked to “see” if he was a boy or a girl. He refused & that was that, but he only told me in passing not making an issue of it. I did report it & it was dealt with. I was upset, it’s hard when they are vulnerable & you are not there to protect them. They don’t always tell us when these things happen & might not know they can say no. I’m not sure that I disagree with Trump that it should be decided locally instead of on a Federal level. I’m sure you know more of the ins & outs along with the down side of not having this law. From what I understand what Obama put into place had not been implemented yet so the change is not immediate. Unless I am mistaken I believe that the state of California has laws in place to protect at school & I suspect that is the most vulnerable place we need this protection. I know a lot of people were upset & had concerns about people using the Obama law as a mask to hide from & commit criminal acts in the bathroom of the opposite sex. Not sure their concerns were valid, but it’s worth exploring both sides.
This is not a states’ rights issue. Equality & human rights do not get to be decided state by state. I live in one of the heinous southern states; if equality was a states’ rights issue, women in this state would be kept home barefoot & pregnant, and black people in this state would still be treated as inferior animals and property. Locals would think that domestic abuse is “keepin’ yer wimmin in line” and killing black people would celebrated.
The worst part is, I live in a southern state that is often touted as the “most progressive of the southern states”. It’s all hogwash. A lot of people think it’s a stereotype that many southerners are still bitter about losing the Civil War, but I’ve lived here for years now and it is truer than anyone could ever realize.
May I ask why we aren’t addressing the real problem here, of stomping the bullying and harassment of any different persons? I’ll say it here, and I don’t suppose to be supported for having this opinion but I do believe it is a state’s rights issue. The federal government has been quick to land grab just about everything making the states superfluous.
The issue seems to be coming down to more of anatomy than anything else. There are two ways to look at this. Maybe three but I’ll start with 2. Sex isn’t made on clothing or fashion. If I have a preference to express in more socially stereotyped female fashion and behavior, regardless if I think I’m a man or a woman, then I should be free to express that as I’m still biologically male. Therefore I use the men’s room. And I should absolutely be protected, by either governmental or educational authority to use such facilities as I’m doing what they say they want me to do. My harrassers are the ones doing what they said we’re not supposed to be. And of course, on the flip side, no matter how masculine a woman looks like, as in the case of her being a ftm transgender, then there should not be the outcry that there is if he uses the ladies room. But there would be plenty of that as we all know.
Otoh. If it really is all about our looks, then we should use the rest room of what is socially associated with the stereotypical looks of a person in dress and fashion. Either way, a man in feminine attire would most certainly be faced with perverse accusations of being a danger to all in the ladies room. The ftm pang entered I’d dare to say have an easier time of that using the men’s room.
And finally, what if the state mandate was merely to require a third option of a neutral rest room. Then anyone could use it and could not complain about the fact that there were both biological sexes using it.
Schools are a bit different due to required gym classes but the argument is similar,as most students hadn’t fully transitioned by that time. So therefore, to me, the biological aspect of the individual takes precedence over the gender thought of the individual and no matter how that person expresses, they should be free to utilize the facilities and activities of their biological sex. And also be barred from traditionally gendered activities of sports. Such as boys now taking over the girls lacrosse teams. Unless we say boys and girls can make up a coed team of no more than say a 2 or 3 to 1 ratio of traditional gender to coed membership. But the feminists would not like that one iota, as if there were 20 girls capable of playing baseball they would demand they make up the entire team if they were more talented than the boys. We’ve gotten ourselves into quite a pickle here.
Which leads me back to my original point. Why are we not taking a firm hand against anyone who is verbally, emotionally and physically assaulting some for being different? That to me is the real solution and causes me anguish to know that that too seems to be acceptable.
I do hope everyone knows that that I fully support gay, racial, transgender rights. But I also know that unless you hold those who assault people for being a relatively low numerical minority then you’ve just negated the rights to privacy of a significant number of people who are in fact the far majority. That’s not right either. But this is to me the only rational way of dealing with this. Hold those who harm others accountable to the fullest extent possible.
State’s Rights is another way of legalizing bigotry. It has never worked in the past regarding civil rights. You are very very misguided in many of your comments. If one needs to reiterate their inclusive support, maybe there’s a reason.