Back in May 2016, under Obama’s administration, Title IX protected transgender students in public schools by allowing them the right to use which bathroom and locker room matches their gender. Yesterday, Trump administration went right ahead and rescinded this order, taking civil rights for all genders out of the hands of the nation and into the hands of each state.
Surprisingly, DeVos (the US Secretary of Education) was against rescinding this order; although she disagrees with the federal government meddling with schools, she strongly advocates equality and inclusion for all people, regardless of their identity.
But we are all sick and tired of hearing about the bathroom debate. It’s ridiculous this is still a thing. It’s a basic right, to use a bathroom and feel comfortable. So let’s talk about something else.
What else is going on in the transgender community?
- The first manufactured transgender doll, I am Jazz, was released in New York on February 18! Finally we are seeing an increase in nationwide support for children and their genders.
- A 9 year old becomes the first openly transgender Boy Scout on February 7, with a troop in New Jersey! This is a huge leap for trans civil rights, setting the bar for every other Boy Scout troop in the nation.
- Abuse among undocumented transgender individuals is going unreported for fear of their abusers turning them in. This is not okay.
- Transpeople of color are at higher risk for violence. Two-Spirit Lakota woman Jamie Lee is the second reported transperson murdered in 2017, and Mesha Caldwell is the first reported transperson murdered in 2017. It’s 2017, it is time that we protect our citizens despite their gender and identity.
- Tori Newburn is Seattle, WA first openly transgender cop! (In old news, K Prithika Yashini was India’s first openly transgender cop back in 2015!)
- Everything about National Geographic’s January 2017 Gender RevolutionGender Revolution issue
As individuals it is our duty to protect our friends and neighbors. But how can we help when our nation keeps throwing hurdles left and right?
Here are some tips on supporting the transgender community:
- Stop assuming peoples pronouns. Don’t guess, and don’t judge. Introduce yourself and state your pronouns (he/she/they/and more), and politely ask who they are.
- Acknowledge and respect individuals identities and gender (seriously, even Facebook offers over 50 different options for gender identity, get with the times).
- Write letters to local public school boards and state Congressmen supporting gender-equality and bathroom-equality starting in public schools and then branching out. Safety is for all gender identities, not just cisgender identifying individuals.
- Challenge people and make comments when people refer only to the male/female gender binary, or call someone by the wrong gender-identifier.
- Do not stay silent.
Disclaimer: I identify as a cisgender female; if anyone feels that I am not being inclusive or I am misrepresenting any information, please let me know.
If you have any questions or thoughts you would like to share, feel free to comment below! 🙂
Featured image credit: Diana Robinson on Flickr, CC