Is the current wave of campaigns to bar trans people, including schoolchildren, from using public restrooms that conform to their gender identify driven by a legitimate desire to protect innocent people from sexual predators, or pure bigotry?
Watch the video from Monday night’s school board meeting in Horry County, South Carolina and judge for yourself:
You can read the whole sorry story at Slate. But to put the above into context, here is a little detail from the article, noting the experience of a high school senior there:
When the student began transitioning from female to male in seventh grade, school administrators agreed that he should use the men’s bathroom, in part because female students were uncomfortable with a male-presenting student using their facilities. The student, who has asked to remain anonymous, used the men’s bathroom for the next several years without incident. In his senior year, several teachers apparently embarked on a campaign to bar him from the men’s bathroom, demanding that he return to the women’s bathroom—or use a bathroom in the nurse’s office, far away from the main facilities. In January, a teacher covertly followed him around and witnessed him using the men’s room. The next day, the school suspended him.
The video is overwhelming in the fear, ignorance, and intolerance on display. I can honestly say I never thought I’d see a song I learned in Sunday school turned into a weapon wielded to silence someone speaking out for basic human dignity, respect, and understanding.
It doesn’t have to be this way. And the bigots thumping their Bibles as they spit the words “Jesus loves you too” as a curse rather than a blessing don’t speak for all Christians.
So I’m proud to say that the church I attend, St. Mary’s-in-the-Hills Episcopal Church in Lake Orion, MI, hosts a support group for the parents of transgender youth on the first Tuesday of every month. The organization is called Stand With Trans. You can learn more about them and the important work they do at their website.