I caught this article in a search earlier this week about legislation affecting transgender students. The State of Delaware is adding gender identity to the classes protected in the public schools, and State Representative Rich Collins is a bit upset. He calls the new rules “perverse,” and goes on to say,
“For some reason our State has decided to allow our students to become transgenders.”
Couple of things to think about here, and some advice to the wise–first, transgender students, like transgender adults, do not “become” because of some legislative permission–we already are, and the State is deciding that students who are transgender need protecting–a decision completely justifiable by facts, given the breathtaking levels of discrimination that we face from darn near everyone around us.
It may sound nit-picky for me to mention this other thing: transgender is an adjective, not a noun, and therefore cannot be made plural in its own right. The plural of “transgender woman” is “transgender women.” Representative Collins’ usage is othering and painful to transgender people, and stunningly rude.
His nod to “perversion” also waves the same old tired (and untrue) flag that was waved successfully in North Carolina, the risk of “safety” for the “real” girls–they pay much attention to transfeminine people, in order to keep them away from cis-girls, and completely ignore the transmasculine–and the safety of transgender people, as well.
One thing about Deleware’s new ruling that really impresses me, seriously–at the student’s option, they won’t tell parents that their kid is transgender. I wish it didn’t have to be so, truly I don’t, but with the huge numbers of LGBT youth who are rejected by their families, I’m glad that the schools are going to step up and have compassion on those young people, when their families far-too-often do not.
This is a drum I’ll beat over and over: If you have an LGBTQ child, support them, or put their lives, health, and well-being at grave risk. There is no third option. Praying it away doesn’t work. Beating it out of them doesn’t work. Hiding your head in the sand and pretending it didn’t happen doesn’t work. Being awful to them by dead-naming and mis-gendering doesn’t work. You have precisely two choices as a parent in this situation: love your child, or reject your child. Rejecting who they are does not count as loving your child. Period.