Today the Trump Administration took a giant step back from their previously stated commitment to champion fairness and equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people. While the Administration has rescinded federal guidance to schools on protecting transgender students, it is important to know that legal protections remain in place and schools should continue to treat transgender students according to the gender they live every day.
Rebecca Isaacs, Executive Director of Equality Federation said, “We stand with transgender students and their families in strong resistance to bullying, even when it comes from the White House. All students, including transgender students, should have a fair opportunity to participate fully and succeed in school. The nation’s leading educators and child health experts agree that it is best for all students when transgender students are treated consistently as the gender that matches how they live every day.”
Equality Federation member organizations across the nation – from Equality Ohio and Equality Texas to Equality California – have been working with transgender youth and their families for years to elevate their stories so that people can get to know them better.
Kimberly Shappley from Pearland, Texas is a Republican and Evangelical Christian. “I’m extremely saddened by the Trump Administration’s actions today. I want my daughter, who happens to be transgender, to have the freedom to succeed just like all the other students at school. Our God is a God of love, grace, and mercy. It’s time for us all to extend that love. My kid is committing no sin by being her authentic self,” she said.
“I’m a transgender boy, a boy who was born a girl but has long known myself to be a boy,” said Trevor Baize, 11 Dallas,Texas. “I live as a boy every day. I just want to keep going to school, participate in all the activities, and be treated like all the other boys. It’s also really important to me that other transgender kids like me see that things can be okay.”
Frank Gonzales, also of Dallas, Texas, is the father of a Libby, a transgender girl who is in elementary school. “All students, including my daughter Libby, should be able to learn and thrive in a safe school environment. Our schools should strive to protect all students from bullying, discrimination and mistreatment, and my wife and I are extremely disappointed to learn that the Trump administration does not share our values,” he said.
“I am the proud mom of two beautiful twins,” said Katie Frank, of Springfield Ohio. “One of them is my daughter Elizabeth who happens to be transgender, a girl who I thought was a boy when she was born but has consistently asserted that she is a girl. Elizabeth is happy and confident now that she is supported and able to be her full authentic self. I want the same for her as I want for her brother – to be able to be treated with the same fairness and have the same opportunities as all the other students.”
Equality Federation will continue to partner with our state-based member organizations to oppose any attempts to bully or single out transgender youth and their families and to provide accurate information about the law.