Tag: lgbt rights

Imagine

I was up most of the night, watching election results trickle in and watching my Facebook feed blow up. I felt the fear, disbelief and anger growing with a good majority of my Facebook friends. Like I mentioned in my previous post, my friends’ candidate of choice was a mixed bag. This applied to real like people as well as Facebook, although I really need to state that my Facebook friends are as real to me as the “real” people. A large population of these people are parents in the LGBT community and/or LGBT themselves. I understand why emotions are running high, especially with this group. They are worried, not only for the country in whole, but for their children, whose safety and well being are at jeopardy under new leadership.

I’m not going to lie to you, especially not after I’ve made it my practice to share the good, the bad and the ugly. My stomach was in knots. I had to shut it down and lose myself in watching Friends and playing Cooking Fever on my iPad.

 This morning after a total of 3 hours sleep, my stomach has settled down but I have a nice tension headache in the works. I’m resisting the urge to call Kris and tell them they have to get all their ducks in a row NOW! That’s my fear speaking and I know that it won’t do Kris any good for me to freak out on them. As a rational voice in one of my Facebook groups pointed out, changes will not occur overnight.

Is this the worse thing to happen? I’m not sure. I guess we will have to wait and see. Until then, I’m going to go back to writing my NaNoWriMo novel (over 2000 words behind), find the first Ice Age movie to watch with C.J., attend Veteran’s Day assemblies and try my best to channel the peace that is greatly missing in the world these days.

R is for “Revolution”

Blogging From A to Z Challenge: R

Revolution– The Beatles

This must stop.

We should all be working together.

Until that day comes- count me in.

“Revolution”
Written by John Lennon/ Performed by the Beatles

You say you want a revolution
Well, you know
We all want to change the world
You tell me that it’s evolution
Well, you know
We all want to change the world

But when you talk about destruction
Don’t you know that you can count me out

Don’t you know it’s gonna be alright
Alright, alright

You say you got a real solution
Well, you know
We’d all love to see the plan
You ask me for a contribution
Well, you know
We’re all doing what we can

But if you want money for people with minds that hate
All I can tell you is brother you have to wait

Don’t you know it’s gonna be alright
Alright, alright, al…

You say you’ll change the constitution
Well, you know
We all want to change your head
You tell me it’s the institution
Well, you know
You’d better free your mind instead

But if you go carrying pictures of Chairman Mao
You ain’t going to make it with anyone anyhow

Don’t you know know it’s gonna be alright
Alright, alright

Alright, alright
Alright, alright
Alright, alright
Alright, alright

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Ellen Speaks Out

Ellen Speaks Out

Having a transgender child has shown me the true colors of many people in our lives and not all that I have seen is pretty.

Ellen says it better than I could, and in her own special way. We are talking about human rights. These laws that are being passed, along with bills that are in the works, are just plain wrong. It’s discrimination and it’s unlawful.

Ellen Slams Mississippi’s Anti-LGBT Law In Powerful Monologue

I’m not a political, by any means, but if people like me and you don’t speak up and stand up for what’s right, this will continue.

“We are more similar than we are different.” -Ellen DeGeneres

Bathroom Battles

Having a six year old and a toddler in the house, we seem to find ourselves engaging in bathroom talk. A LOT.

But today, I don’t want to talk about which child is creating the smell in the family room. Instead, I want to talk about Bathroom Bills.

I remember the first time I saw Kris walk into a men’s public restroom.

My husband (his father) and I were visiting Kris at college.

I stared after Kris as he casually walked into a men’s room in the campus activity center. I entered the women’s room and stared at the shaken expression on my face in the mirror.

I will never forget the complete and utter terror I felt. What if there was someone in there that did know Kris was trans and took offense? I was worried for his safety more than any thoughts of discomfort.

Kris  is my middle child. We were told he was a girl at birth. At age 18,  Kris told us that he was actually a boy. And 2 months later,  he was using the men’s room.

 

At that time I was still trying to comprehend what being transgender meant. This was just one in a series of new things I would be encountering.

I did not realize that which bathroom my kid used would become such a major issue, even possibly illegal if he chose the bathroom matching his gender identity.

“The disturbing proliferation of anti-trans bills, including 23 that target children in schools and school sports, is part of a stunning surge of more than 175 anti-LGBT bills in 32 states this year.”

New HRC Report Reveals Unprecedented Onslaught of State Legislation Targeting Transgender Americans

Bathroom Bills. You’re hearing about them all over the place. As more awareness is being brought to the T in LGBT, the issue of which bathroom transgender people use appears to have grown legs and is running out of control. And in many cases, we aren’t talking about just any transgender people. No, we are referring to our smallest and most vulnerable population- children. The number of states trying to pass legislation that requires students to use restrooms and locker rooms based on their anatomy or sex assigned at birth are on the up-rise. The scary part is that legislators are not doing their homework and educating themselves on this matter and others are following their lead.

Just this week South Dakota Republican Governor Dennis Daugaard vetoed such a bill. It is a step in the right direction. Unfortunately this battle won’t end here.

“On Thursday, the South Dakota House of Representatives failed to override the governor’s veto of a “bathroom bill” which would have required public school students to use facilities based on their “chromosomes and anatomy” at birth. The override vote in favor of the bill fell some ten votes short of the required two-thirds majority, with 36 yeas, 29 nays and five members not voting.”

– Vote to Override South Dakota ‘Bathroom Bill’ Veto Narrowly Fails

If you are not transgender or don’t have a transgender child, you might not understand what the big deal is. Take a few minutes to hear from Tyler, a transgender young man, who says it better than I could.

Kris is 23 years old now and he is an adult. But if things continue the direction they seem to be heading, it is only a matter of time before he will be at risk of losing his right to use the correct bathroom. It would be a violation of his civil rights, as these current bathroom bills are a violation of students’ rights.

Fear and ignorance are often the motivation for anti-transgender bills. As we head full swing into election mode, please keep in mind that just as the people writing these bills are sometimes ignorant on LGBT matters, it is equally important that we, as voters, make informed choices to ensure that the people holding public office represent ALL people.

 

 

 

 

Student A is ALL of Our Kids!

My previous post, Township High School District 211- Bad Form shares the highlights of this ongoing issue. I tried to keep my own personal opinion and feelings out of it, but I wanted to share my thoughts* here.

The bottom line is that this district acknowledges this student as being female in their records and in some of their actions. She has had unrestricted access to female restrooms and is able to participate in girls’ sports. She was not allowed access to the girls’ locker room and that’s where the violation to Title IX comes into play.

The district’s school board voted to accept a settlement but when the Office of Civil Rights for the US Department of Education issued a press release outlining the details, the district claimed they were inaccurate and demanded a retraction. Since the links included both on the district’s website and the OCR’s press release lead to the same agreement, it appears that someone didn’t read the fine print.

The district insists that this agreement only applies to that one student and that she is being required to use a curtained off area to change- not that she has the option.

The district was found to be violating this student’s Title IX rights. If this settlement only applies to this student, then the next one to come along, if treated any differently than what the settlement stipulates, automatically puts the district back in violation AGAIN. If we give the district the benefit of the doubt….. and we say, that isn’t the case….that the district will treat ALL students the same way and any other transgender student will be afforded the same use of restrooms and locker rooms, then WHY doesn’t this settlement apply to ALL students? 

Something is off. Something feels very wrong about this. It stinks of the district running scared in the face of a community responding negatively at the outcome.

I’ve read the comments following the articles tangled with more than one person, only to walk away from the conversation in frustration. I’m sure the district is hearing threats of lawsuits and protests from scared parents who don’t understand. And in all of my years dealing with administrators, I can tell you one thing- they don’t like the idea of angry parents storming the district…..and after having faced a month of the mob mentality, I’m sure they really don’t want this to continue.

It was the district’s responsibility to educate their community on a topic that many are ignorant and it looks like they failed. This was an opportunity to educate people, help grow understanding, teach compassion and acceptance….the list is endless. Instead they chose to go on the defensive and make it clear that they are accommodating this one student because they will loser federal funding if they don’t.

BAD FORM.

On a completely different note, I am in awe of this community and I’m PROUD to be a part of it. Since the settlement was handed down, members of a Facebook group (Illinois Parents of Transgender & Gender Diverse Children) connected with the parent of the transgender girl. When informed of the district’s actions, this group, with leadership and guidance from the parent, sprung into action. A call for help is spreading across the internet, signs are being made, talking points are being shared, and people are supporting by showing up/ speaking at tomorrow’s board meeting or writing the district directly, sharing their feelings.

 

I’m not doing this for only one kid- I’m doing it for all of our kids. They all deserve to have the same school experience as everyone else. I will be there showing my support. I hope that you will be, too!

*My own personal take on what is happening is drawn from years of a variety of education experience and from being the parent of a transgender child, and how the uneducated public respond to anything transgender.