Trans Students Rights & Bathroom Issues – Update

In case you didn’t know, President Trump rescinded federal protections for transgender students. Transgender student’s basic rights will be left up to the states to decide. Which means, in one state I could use the men’s room, and in another state, I’d either be forced to use the girl’s room or a single stalled bathroom. And that’s not okay.

Transgender students need these protections. 75% of transgender students feel unsafe in schools according to the National Center for Transgender Equality. Schools should be a place where students feel comfortable so they can learn. If a student feels unsafe in their school, they have trouble learning, leading to lower grades, which can ruin their future careers. The point of education is to make sure children succeed, not to make their lives hell.

Transgender kids are purposefully denying themselves water and starving themselves so they don’t have to use the bathroom in school, which is awful to their physical and mental wellbeing. 59% of transgender students have reported being denied to use the bathroom that correlates with their gender identity. Who thinks little kids are sexual predators? You’re more likely to be assaulted by a GOP Congressman in a bathroom than a transgender person, especially a transgender child. If you’re the person assuming children are sexual beings, aren’t you the predator?

Back to my main point. Civil rights should not be left up to the states. The last time we left civil rights up to the states, it was about slavery and certain people were deemed to only be three fifths of a person. Every person, trans or cis, deserves to have the same basic human rights in each state.

“Let’s make a separate bathroom for trans people!” seems to be the common compromise. But let me tell you first hand how dehumanizing that is. I was forced to use the nurse’s single stall bathroom in middle school, and having to walk down three flights of stairs to just wash my hands, and then be yelled at for missing class time is humiliating. Being told that all people like me only exist to scare your children and assault your spouses is mortifying. Being told you don’t deserve the right to exist in a public space is barbaric. I am a human. Transgender people are humans. We have basic bodily functions like you, and we have emotions like you. We just want to use the bathroom. I promise, we don’t want to assault you. Hell, I don’t even want to look at you. I just want to do my business and leave. The only time you should yell at a transgender person in the bathroom is if they don’t wash their hands, and you shouldn’t even be thinking about gender in that case.

If you haven’t heard of Gavin Grimm, he’s a 17 year old trans boy from Virginia who is suing his school board because they’re not letting him use the men’s room, and his case has reached the Supreme Court. The case his lawyers are making is absolutely fantastic. I’m going to include an excerpt from because his case is summed up perfectly here:

“Title IX” provides that “no person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination.” Gavin Grimm’s lawyers are arguing on the basis that if you accept the narrowest possible definition of “sex” — that is, even if you believe that the word “sex” refers exclusively to whether a person is born with a penis or a vagina. Title IX uses very broad language. It forbids any discrimination “on the basis of sex.” Every other student at Grimm’s high school is allowed to use a bathroom that corresponds with their gender identity. Grimm cannot, and the reason he cannot is because he was born with female sex characteristics. That’s discrimination based on sex. A person’s transgender status is an inherently sex-based characteristic. Gavin is being treated differently because he is a boy who was identified as female at birth. The incongruence between his gender identity and his sex identified at birth is what makes him transgender. Treating a person differently because of the relationship between those two sex-based characteristics is literally discrimination “on the basis of sex.”

I have a radio show at my school, and I discuss this further if you want to listen here.

This whole post is basically an angry rant, but I needed to get it out. Before I finish this, I want to share a campaign my friend Landon and I started. It’s called #WeBelongHere, and we’re asking trans students to take pictures/videos of them using the bathroom of their identity in schools, and use the hashtag to show that trans students belong in the bathrooms of their gender identity.

Also, I was featured in the Boston Globe. Isn’t that cool?


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