Photo: courtesy ABC News Chicago
I’ve been thinking about what it must be like to be the mother of a transgender child with announcement of the rollback of protection for transgender children. Imagine telling your transgender son who may dress and look like a young girl that he might have to use the male bathrooms at his school. My daughter was bullied through junior and high school and she isn’t transgender. I can only think that the rollback of these protections opens the door to further discrimination and bullying.
It reminds me of stories I’ve read about young girls who are forced to miss school or drop out of school when they start to menstruate because of lack of bathrooms or access to information and sanitary products.
Don’t our children deserve the right to schools where the focus is on education, not gender inequalities?
If you did not see this transgender story of Gavin Grimm you need to watch this National Geographic video. It illustrates the heart of this issue. He just wanted to use the bathroom. The school offered him a “unisex” bathroom. What? His story is the story of so many trangender children.
And watch Gavin’s mother speak to this issue. It tore at my heart strings.
The media reports this all comes down to an assessment of Title IX. Title IX states:
“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 under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.”
While I’m not a lawyer I think it’s pretty clear from that statement that denying a transgender child access to a school bathroom of their sexual orientation is clearly discrimination.
My daughter invoked the protection of Title IX after a sexual assault on a college campus. She was emotionally wrought over the incident and after I pushed her to talk to a college counselor the school was forced to comply with Title IX. They consequently issued a restraining order against the boy.
I can only think that this rescinding of LGBT rights is an attack at Obama’s policies at a time when the administration should be focusing on providing children of any gender, race or age a safe haven for learning.
We can only hope as this issue gets passed down to the state and local level that our country’s transgender children get the protection and rights they deserve as American citizens.