Tag: transgender rights

What Matters

“The Trump administration on Wednesday formally withdrew Obama administration guidance enabling transgender individuals to use sex-segregated facilities, including bathrooms, of their choice.”

                                                                                   -The Washington Post

If you haven’t heard the news, you can read it here- Trump Administration Rescinds Obama Rules on Transgender Bathroom Use .

This news is upsetting and disheartening. But there are a few important things you should know- National Center for Transgender Equality has created FAQ on the Withdrawal of Federal Guidance on Transgender Students

I’ve shared an important excerpt from the FAQ sheet below.

What happens now that the Title IX guidance is rolled back?

First, it’s important to remember that—with or without the guidance—transgender students are protected under Title IX. The guidance itself didn’t change the law or create protections for transgender students that weren’t there before. It just clarified how the Department of Education would be enforcing existing laws. Even though the guidance has been withdrawn, that doesn’t change the fact that under Title IX, transgender students have a right to be treated according to their gender identity, including when it comes to restroom access. And in addition to protections under Title IX, transgender students are also protected by the U.S. Constitution and, in many states, by state laws and policies protecting them in schools.

– National Center for Transgender Equality- FAQ on the Withdrawal of Federal Guidance on Transgender Students

This matters. For transgender students who attend a supportive school, this probably won’t change their school experience. For those who have been fighting to have their basic rights met, this could be a damaging blow to their battle. For all transgender children and their parents the message that Trump’s administration is sending is powerful and harmful.

It might not be telling schools to discriminate against transgender students but it is attempting to strip those students of their rights, which actually are still protected. Unfortunately there are school districts who were just waiting for this message as a green light. This message tells transgender students that they do not matter and that they do not have the same rights as anyone else, nor do they deserve them. I want you to just think for a moment what that might feel like as a child who already might feel like they don’t quite fit.  

A message from the president of their country. Yesterday I was having a discussion with my 2nd grade reading group about the power of an emperor, and in their 7 year old minds they likened it to the president.

And this is what matters most. Transgender students will hear this message and even if they have support at school, some will still be very frightened and not safe.

We are talking about kids who might be facing daily battles just getting through a school day. Even students who can navigate their school day might be feeling unsafe out in the world. If the negative message that  the Trump administration is sending gets into a child’s head and they feel that threatened, the outcome could be dire. We are talking about a fragile, defenseless population here.

Parents of transgender kids are afraid for their children. Fear and worry are a standard part of the “parenting trans kids” package. We worry about their emotional well being, physical safety, bullies both in school and out, possible future health issues due to any treatment they receive, that they have friends, if they will find love, what their future will be, what they aren’t telling us (and there is always something they aren’t telling us),  their happiness, their life…….

We worry and we fight. Some fight LOUD and OUT and PROUD. Some are quieter but just as persistent and effective. And some are floundering, just keeping their heads above water, grateful for the parents before them who are trailblazers, sometimes battling with a sword in one hand and holding onto their child, or a few fragile families or both all at the same time.

There are parents of minor transgender children who fear being reported for child abuse by “well meaning” family, friends or neighbors.  And yes, it does happen! Divorced parents worry about losing custody of their trans child to an unsupportive parent, which could be detrimental to that child. They are afraid to advocate out of fear of retribution.

And those front line folks- they stand being attacked by hurtful or ignorant (or both) people. The very public advocates risk hate mail/messages and death threats. For fighting for what is right. I wish I was exaggerating but sadly, I’m not.

We are talking about human rights. This is what matters! It’s important that people show their support. I’m inviting you to join me in spreading a message of love and support to transgender people and their families everywhere. Make sure your schools are trans-inclusive. Educate the ignorant. Keep informed. Understand what Title IX is and how it protects transgender students. Do any of these….or all of them!

Feel free to use the picture below- it is mine to share. If you are a # person, please consider using #StandWithGavin as well as the ones below. If you are unfamiliar with Gavin,  he is a transgender student whose case will be heard by the Supreme Court next month when he fights for the right to use the school bathroom that corresponds with his gender identity.

translivesmatter

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” -Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

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.

Ignorance

Ignorance

Ignorance. It all comes down to ignorance.

Ignorance is a state of being uninformed (lack of knowledge).[1] The word ignorant is an adjective describing a person in the state of being unaware and is often used as an insult to describe individuals who deliberately ignore or disregard important information or facts. Ignorance From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

IMG_0763

You can click on the picture to read the article. 

I recently had a heated discussion about this very case. If you would like to learn what is really going on here, you can read any number of articles, including clicking on the one linked to the screenshot above. Although some articles contain mistakes, such as the use of the non-word “transgendered” or the use of “transgender” as a noun, there is a general commonality that runs through the articles. It’s pretty simple. This girl’s rights are being violated under Title IX.

Palatine Township High School District 211 has 30 days to comply or possibly lose $6 million in school funding. All over a transgender girl having the right to use the girls’ locker room. They have admitted to putting privacy curtains up around an unused area of the locker room. They have also admitted to giving this girl NO options- only the directive that she will use the curtained area. Somehow they fail to see the error in their actions. They might as well hang up a sign.

segregationSource: Wikipedia- Racial Segregation

If you want to open up a can of worms, bring this topic up with a group of uninformed people. These are not uneducated people. Their degrees pile up so high it’s easy to get intimidated just pondering all that knowledge in one place. The same people can probably recite Title IX from memory. They even appear to understand that gender identity is part of this. They seem very rational and polite and reasonable.

Then you read the comments. And you know.

Ignorance. Some are the uninformed ignorant. But there appear to be many more in the other ignorant camp- the ones who deliberately ignore the information.

Or better yet, you find yourself, as I did recently, sitting across the table from one of these people. And the words coming from this person’s mouth could have been written by any of those ignorant people commenting on the article above. Wait, I’m pretty sure that what he is saying HAS been said in the comments time and time again in every possible way.

“Here you’ve got this kid, this guy, who says he’s a girl when all he really wants is to get into the girls’ locker room.”

“He’s a teenage boy with male anatomy. If I had a teenage daughter, I wouldn’t want her in a locker room with that.”

“What possible reason could he have for wanting to be in the girls’ locker room or bathroom?”

“He should be using the locker room that matches his anatomy, which is male.”

“Out of the blue this guy just decides he wants to be a girl?”

“He hasn’t had surgery or anything so he’s still a guy.”

“He’s not really a girl.”

“He”        “Guy”         “Him”

Yes, these are all things this person sitting across from me said. His intent is crystal clear. He would not want this person, obviously some kind of sexual deviant, who devised this sinister plot to pose as a girl to gain access to the girls’ locker room to get his rocks off while staring at teenage girls changing and exposing his genitals to them. 

Dare I mention that I’ve known this person for 10 years. That he knows about Kris. That the more I try to explain, educate, inform, the more agitated, uneasy and LOUDER he gets. I point out that he does not know the circumstances of this girl’s life, when she came out, how far into transition she is…..nothing. I tell him that surgery does not define gender. That genitals do not define gender. That sex assigned at birth does not define gender. I inform him that if we are going to be checking genitals at the door, if our fear is that our daughters are going to be sexually exploited by this girl, then we need to check sexual orientation too because aren’t our girls more in danger of being exploited by someone who is attracted to girls than someone who simply identifies as one? But wait, I continue, we can’t do that because aren’t we violating their rights if we do that?

It begins to get difficult to tell who is more frustrated by this conversation- him or me. (But, in case you didn’t already guess, it’s me.)

At one point I want to pull out the big guns- my MOM card and slam it on the table that separates us. I want to remind him of my transgender child, knowing damn well that he’s aware of Kris. I want to ask him what he would say if this was MY CHILD we were talking about. HIS child we were talking about.

I’m poised and ready. I actually take a deep breath……

And then something catches my eye behind him. It’s a dad taking his young child into the Play Place area, which is through the door directly behind our table. And it hits me.

This uninformed, ignorant person and I are practically screaming at each other in the middle of a freaking McDonalds!

Seriously!

He thinks he is right.

I KNOW I am.

I have the law to back me.

All he has is ignorance.

Let’s Not Forget the T!

Let’s Not Forget the T!

“Look, this is a civil rights issue, and if you are not willing to support transgender people for their sake, at least do it for your own, because we’ve been through this before, we know how this thing ends: If you take the anti-civil rights side and deny people access to something they’re entitled to, history is not going to be kind to you.” -John Oliver

I get that everyone is not an activist. Some people do not want to be out there fighting the fight. Maybe you just want to sit in your home, quietly supporting your LGBTQ friend. Or maybe it’s just your LGB friend and you don’t have any interest in the T. OR maybe you do have  T friend and you do support him but you’re just not feeling like being an ally. You don’t dislike anyone. You don’t have a problem with anyone. You just don’t want to do anything.

Okay, that’s certainly your right and I can’t make you do anything you don’t want to do. But maybe you should.

Maybe you should at least watch the video and see why the T cannot be forgotten. You might have noticed your Facebook feed filled with rainbow covered profile pictures and if you have, you might have noticed that maybe a quarter of those have a different colored filter on it.  (Something like this but if they are lucky, their picture is vertical, not horizontal like mine ended up!)trans filterThese are your T people. We are the people who either are transgender or are loved ones, supporters and/or allies of transgender people. I can guarantee you that there are many of us who would like to do nothing more than to support our loved one, live our lives and go quietly about our business. But we can’t. Trans people are being denied their basic civil rights. They are treated unfairly on a regular basis. They are in danger.

It isn’t fair and it isn’t right.

Still not so sure about this? Why not take about 16 minutes and watch the video that the above quote was pulled from? I’ll warn you that there are a few naughty words and maybe not so nice things in it but it will give you an idea of why we cannot forget the T.

This is a topic that is near and dear to my heart.

Thank you for stopping by!

-Kat

 

Friday Fuzz- A Few Thoughts on Restrooms

Yes, you read correctly. My topic for Friday Fuzz is restrooms. I’ve come across this Infographic in so many places that I feel the need to share it.

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Using the correct public restroom is a major issue for transgender people, regardless of age. The fact that in some cases they are not allowed to use the correct restroom is unbelievable. I wonder what those same people who do not feel that trans people have that right would do if they had to use the wrong restroom? I can’t speak for all women but I can tell you this- if I was told I had to use the men’s room, I would freak out. I wouldn’t be able to do it. The thought of walking into a men’s room potentially filled with men in various acts of using the facilities makes me feel so uneasy and scared….and quite honestly, grossed out.

As it is, those restroom visits- even the correct restroom- cause my son some level of anxiety. From what I understand, there aren’t many stalls in men’s restrooms so if Kris finds them occupied, he either has to wait or find another facility. That’s one of those ftm (female to male) problems that seems to be unavoidable. I have gotten texts from Kris that say, “Mom, there’s someone in the only stall and he’s been in there forever. I don’t know if I should keep waiting or hunt down another restroom.” Poor kid!

There is also a certain level of worry about safety. Restrooms can be the setting for bullying and/or violence- out of the public eye.

So, there you have it. Something I felt the need to share.

Have a good day!

Kat