Imagine if your kid was sitting in a classroom right now, and really needed to use the bathroom but couldn’t or didn’t feel safe enough to do so. So, instead of raising their hand, they try to hold it. By the time they make it home, they’ve had an accident in their clothes and are writhing from the pain of bladder infection, all because they didn’t want to be teased or bullied.
This is happening every day, in our schools for transgender students. The school board, would have you believe that they’re following the letter of the law, by disallowing trans students the ability to use the bathrooms that match their gender identity. But, THIS IS NOT TRUE. THERE IS NO LAW forcing students to endure this kind of unnecessary trauma.
The argument surrounding transgender adults and bathroom use, typically is followed up with a misguided argument that uses fear to continue the oppression of this community, but that argument gets taken off the table when we’re talking about kids. So what’s the excuse? A 6 year old is not interested in going into a bathroom to molest another student. They’re going in there to use the bathroom, wash their hands, and get out without being attacked or bullied.
Trans students are 40% more likely to attempt suicide than their cis gender peers.
(Cisgender is a word that applies to the vast majority of people, describing a person who is not transgender. If a doctor announces, “It’s a girl!” in the delivery room based on the child’s body and that baby grows up to identify as a woman, that person is cisgender. Similarly, a baby designated male in the delivery room who grows up to identify as a man is cisgender. )
Below are videos from 4 area community members, asking the school board to start treating our trans youth with the same rights as other students. To be protected and treated with the dignity and respect they deserve.
If you are interested in joining our fight to protect the rights of trans students in Knoxville, please email me or contact me.