Tag Archives: high school

Some Positive UK Transgender Kids News (February, 2016)

Uniforms
We have three items from the United Kingdom to highlight in this little news roundup. The first is from Brighton College, where the school is allowing all kids the right to wear the male or female school uniform, depending upon their gender identity. Note that although the school has “college” in its name, this is actually a pre-university private school. From the Daily Mirror:

Mr Cairns told students last week that uniform codes dating back to the school’s inception in 1845 would be replaced by a ‘trouser uniform’ and a ‘skirt uniform’ for all pupils up to the age of 16.

The trouser uniform will see pupils wear a full tweed blazer, tie and trousers and the skirt uniform requires students to wear a skirt, bolero jacket and open-neck reverse blouse.

Parents will be required to write to the school before pupils can switch from one uniform to another.

Girls are already walking around the campus in trousers and the school said more than one boy has expressed the desire to wear a skirt.

Pupil Fred Dimbleby, 17, son of BBC broadcaster David Dimbleby, 77, said: “Personally, I’m completely in favour of it.

“I think it’s brilliant that we as an institution are leading this new approach and that we are leading this respect towards everyone no matter what they define themselves as.

“What’s really surprised me is the way that people have taken it within the school.

“I think that it’ll be foreign for people to see someone who defines themselves as a male wearing a skirt, and I think that will be something big, but I don’t think it’ll cause any outrage or backlash because that person will be massively supported by the pupil body.”

Baptism
In another bit of news from the UK, a transgender girl has inspired the New Chapel Unitarian and Free Christian Church in Greater Manchester to start offering transgender baptisms. In short, to allow transgender persons to be baptized in their new name and gender expression.

Worship leader Jean Clements came up with the idea after meeting a couple who had a transgender child.

The church then backed the change to help others in the same situation.

Mrs Clements told the BBC : “I felt saddened by the fact that this family were being shunned by many mainstream churches.

“However, when the family came to New Chapel, the congregation welcomed them with open arms.”

Nottingham
Finally, a 5-year-old Nottinghamshire child has become one of the youngest cases of gender transition in Britain. Little Danni McFayden has re-entered her primary school as a girl after a social gender transition fully supported by both parents and teachers.

Children can take drugs to postpone puberty as well as hormone treatment, before NHS gender realignment surgery at 18.

The Gender Identity Research and Education Society says referrals for treatment of young people are growing by 50%.

Colin Pettigrew, from Nottingham County Council, said it was determined to support the youngster’s wishes.

He said: “Transgender is a new area for many school and is a characteristic protected by law.”

Illinois District Violated Transgender Student’s Rights, U.S. Says


The New York Times has printed a very detailed article on a recent major victory for transgender youth. Township High School District 211 in Palatine, Illinois, had refused to allow a transgender girl equal access to school locker and toilet facilities, and a complaint was made by the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois. In a letter sent Monday, the Office for Civil Rights of the Department of Education told the district that requiring a transgender student to use private changing and showering facilities was a violation of that student’s rights under Title IX, a federal law that bans sex discrimination. The district has 30 days to reach a solution or face penalties, including potential administrative law proceedings or a Justice Department court action. The district could lose some or all of its Title IX funding.

From the article:

“All students deserve the opportunity to participate equally in school programs and activities — this is a basic civil right,” Catherine Lhamon, the Education Department’s assistant secretary for civil rights, said in a statement. “Unfortunately, Township High School District 211 is not following the law because the district continues to deny a female student the right to use the girls’ locker room.”

Officials in the Palatine district, which serves more than 12,000 students, have framed their position as a middle ground. The transgender student in question plays on a girls’ sports team, is called “she” by school staff and is referred to by a female name. But the district, citing privacy concerns, had required her to change clothes and shower separately.

The district said she was allowed to change inside the girls’ locker room, but only behind a curtain. The student, who has not been publicly identified, has said she would probably use that curtain to change. But she and the federal government have insisted that she be allowed to make that decision voluntarily, and not because of requirements by the district.

As a rebuttal to ignorant parents who claimed that the student was a “boy” who was “gaming the system to see girls naked,” the Times reported that the student “…has identified as a girl from a young age, has changed her name, received a passport as a female and is undergoing hormone therapy…”

Source: Illinois District Violated Transgender Student’s Rights, U.S. Says

Why Do Those Who Accuse Us of Perversion Exhibit Perverted Behavior?

HUNT_ROGER_2015

In yet another case of the blind animal panic of religious conservatives towards transgender persons (namely, transgender girls and women), a South Dakota Representative has actually proposed that children wishing to participate in South Dakota High School activities (such as sports) must have have their gender concretely identified. How will this be done?

The proposal from Rep. Roger Hunt, R-Brandon [photograph above], would rely on official birth certificates and visual inspections for determining gender rather than allowing people to decide and declare their gender on their own.

He said gender is determined at conception and the transgender debate is riding the gay marriage wave.

“This is South Dakota. We haven’t adopted the East Coast culture. We haven’t adopted the West Coast culture. We maintain our own culture,” Hunt said [Bart Pfankuch, “‘Visual Inspection’ Could Be Part of State Law to Determine Gender Identity,” Rapid City Journal, 2015.08.23].

He’s got a pair of brass ones, wouldn’t you agree, dear reader? Can you imagine what must be going through the minds of these hobgoblins, as they sit there dreaming of the humiliation and shame they can inflict on all of us evil transgender people. Forcing transgender children to expose their genitals to adults, in order to, um, protect kids from being exposed to genitals, or something? What is the rationale here anyhow, other than a disturbingly focused amount of attention upon children’s genitals?

The entire debacle becomes even more M. Night Shyamalan-ish when you add in a statement from Mark Chase of the anti-transgender Family Policy Council, who told the interim committee that transgender students are responsible for their own bullying by daring to participate on a team that doesn’t match their apparent biological sex. Quoth Mr. Chase, “…no amount of ‘sensitivity’ training will stop this.”

Indeed. Hatred isn’t easily abolished by mere training and guidelines. Hatred is abolished by the establishment and brutal, yes, brutal enforcement of anti-discrimination and anti-bullying laws.

Source: Rep. Hunt Wants to Look at Transgender Kids’ Genitalia | Dakota Free Press

Kansas City Transgender Teen Nominated for Homecoming Queen

First I must apologize for linking to a Fox4KC story, as I know many of my audience do not care very much for the station. And I must apologize for being days behind in posting this. My preparation for my month in Asia has taken a lot of my time.

The story is simple, but also highly important. Landon Patterson, a Senior at Oak Park High School in North Kansas City, came out on YouTube to reveal to the world that she was transgender. Not only wasn’t she expecting the show of support from her friends, who rallied behind her, but she certainly wasn’t expecting to be nominated as homecoming queen for the high school.

She will find out on September 12 if she made the grade, to become the first transgender homecoming queen in the history of Kansas City.

Source: Transgender teen nominated for homecoming queen at metro high school | fox4kc.com

Colorado Springs Transgender Teen Up For Homecoming Queen

Scarlet Lenh

I’m always happy when I see runs at homecoming royalty or the prom which involve these visible, fearless, fighting transkids. I admire so much their courage and strength for doing what they have to do, and it often reminds me of just how bad it was in the 1980’s to be LGB, let alone T in high school. I am always amazed when I step into a high school nowadays for a lecture or for youth counseling just how different of a world these kids are living in and being educated in. It’s times like that when I truly don’t feel so afraid for the future.

Of course, all you have to do is read the comments at the bottom of the article, and then you’ll see why I’m so afraid for the present.

Transgender Teen Up For Homecoming Queen.

CBS Profiles Trans Youth, as Poll Shows Objections to Trans Accommodations

Transgender children were covered as a topic on CBS Sunday Morning in a fairly positive manner, but they did devote a bit of time to the haters, as well as focusing on a poll showing that a wide majority of Americans believe transgender students should not be allowed to use their gender-congruent bathrooms.

The CBS poll, conducted in March and released this week, found that only 26 percent of respondents believe trans students should be given access to restrooms and locker rooms that correspond with their gender identity, whereas 59 percent of those polled believe trans individuals should be forced to use facilities of their birth-assigned gender. Fifteen percent of poll respondents either did not know or did not answer the question.

Women were more likely than men to believe that trans students should be given access gender-appropriate facilities, with 29 percent of women in favor of transgender-affirmative public accommodations compared to 23 percent of men. Thirty-three percent of self-identified Democrats support trans students, compared to only 16 percent of Republicans.

Unfortunately, the Advocate concludes that the smear tactics of the Pacific Justice Institute and other hate groups may be working:

These tactics, often described as the “bathroom meme,” rely on thoroughly debunked myths involving a fear that people will claim to be transgender simply as a means to gain access to restrooms and locker rooms so that they can more easily assault unsuspecting women. But perhaps, as the poll indicates, the tactics are having some success.

WATCH: CBS Profiles Trans Youth, as Poll Shows Objections to Trans Accommodations | Advocate.com.

An Osceola (Florida) High Transgender Student Runs for Prom King

Sebastian RollinsAnother in what I hope are a long line of successes at the youth level of activism – Sebastian Rollins, a transkid, is running for prom king and receiving quite a lot of support from both fellow students and school administrators (of course, with the recent Title IX ruling from the Department of Education, they have little choice in the matter).

Go Sebastian!

At Osceola High, a transgender student makes a run for prom king | Tampa Bay Times.

US Dept. of Education Announces Title IX Protects Trans Students

TitleIX
There is a new announcement that Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 now “makes clear that the federal Title IX law prohibits discrimination against transgender students.” Here are the relevant clarifications from the FAQ released by the Department of Education. While primarily concerned with addressing sexual violence, the full text concerning transgender youth says:

B-1. Does Title IX protect all students from sexual violence?

Answer: Yes. Title IX protects all students at recipient institutions from sex discrimination, including sexual violence. Any student can experience sexual violence: from elementary to professional school students; male and female students; straight, gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender students; part-time and full-time students; students with and without disabilities; and students of different races and national origins.

and further:

Title IX’s sex discrimination prohibition extends to claims of discrimination based on gender identity or failure to conform to stereotypical notions of masculinity or femininity and OCR accepts such complaints for investigation. Similarly, the actual or perceived
sexual orientation or gender identity of the parties does not change a school’s obligations.

Indeed, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) youth
report high rates of sexual harassment and sexual violence. A school should investigate and resolve allegations of sexual violence regarding LGBT students using the same procedures and standards that it uses in all complaints involving sexual violence. The fact that incidents of sexual violence may be accompanied by anti-gay comments or be partly based on a student’s actual or perceived sexual orientation does not relieve a school of its obligation under Title IX to investigate and remedy those instances of sexual violence.

If a school’s policies related to sexual violence include examples of particular types of conduct that violate the school’s prohibition on sexual violence, the school should consider including examples of same-sex conduct. In addition, a school should ensure that staff are capable of providing culturally competent counseling to all complainants . Thus, a school should ensure that its counselors and other staff who are responsible for receiving and responding to complaints of sexual violence, including investigators and hearing board members, receive appropriate training about working with LGBT and gender-nonconforming students and same-sex sexual violence.

Pretty unambiguous wording, which in a sweeping way now protects transgender students at any public school which receives government funding.

Two Schools, Two Acts of Discrimination

anais-celini-and-nathaniel-baez
Here are two short stories, one takes place at a high school, one at a university, and both involve trans-discrimination.

In the first report, senior Anais Celini at Martin Luther High School in Queens, New York, was told her boyfriend, transman Nathaniel Baez was not welcome at their school prom because “his transition was unconventional and not beneficial.” The second word throws me, and is reported as a quote by the Huffington Post. What do they mean by “beneficial?”

Instead of fighting the decision the couple have decided to not challenge the school and hold their own private prom elsewhere. Honestly, it’s difficult to find fault with the couple – while on one side I wish they would fight so they would pave the way for those who follow them, at the same time they are just kids, and kids have enough stress and hassle as it stands without throwing into everything a media sensation and spending a lot of time with lawyers.

jayce-m-george-fox-university

In our next story we have the case of transman Jayce M., who is seeking permission from George Fox University, Oregon, to move into the male dorm after he completes transition. The university has told him that he isn’t welcome in the dorms with room mates, and should stay either off campus or in a single rooms.

The university’s position is somewhat baffling:

“George Fox strives to be a Christ-centered community, and our residential facilities are single sex because of our theological commitments. The student’s request to switch from female-only on campus housing to male-only on campus housing is one that many institutions would struggle with.”

They would rather have a transman living with women rather than with men – and they believe this is the “Christ-centered” way of doing things? Really?

Couple Plans Own Prom After School Bars Transgender Boyfriend From Attending.

BREAKING: Calif. Trans Student Law Survives Repeal Effort

There’s not much I can add to the original article, but I wanted to highlight it since Transas City is read by many who don’t read news sites daily. In short, the repeal effort which was driven by the those opposed to transgender mainstreaming and integration in schools has failed, and transgender kids in California will be safer (for now) than they ever have been.

BREAKING: Calif. Trans Student Law Survives Repeal Effort | Advocate.com.

California School Officials Debunk Right-Wing Lies About Transgender Student Law

This article isn’t flashy but it’s an important one for those of us who actively fight and engage with the segments of America who generally dislike us. And by “dislike,” I group together everything from simple dismissal to raw, homicidal hatred.

Unfortunately, transkids, the most vulnerable of all our community, are in the cross-hairs of the haters. There are many reasons of course, but the primary one is the passage last year of a law giving protections for transgender California kids who simply want to use the proper bathroom and play on the proper sports teams. Of course, by writing “proper” I can be accused of using just a little bit of propaganda myself…at least I’m forthright by it.

So bookmark this article at the link below, if you often engage with the haters, as it contains some hard facts which are the truth, and help our cause.

California School Officials Debunk Right-Wing Lies About Transgender Student Law | Blog | Media Matters for America.

East Mecklenburg, NC, High School Crowns Transgender Homecoming King

Meck_Trans_King
It’s going to be that time of year again, when some schools crown their homecoming “royalty,” and all of them will matriculate students. And as we saw last year this time, the news will possibly be filled with increasing cases of transgender acceptance, and transgender discrimination. The hope of course is that each year we will see more of the former and less of the latter.

In this case East Mecklenburg, North Caroline Senior Blake Brockington was nominated to be homecoming king by his fellow students, and he beat out 13 other contenders to take the crown. Of course East Mecklenburg is reportedly a somewhat unusual high school:

Teacher Bill Allen is the student advisor for the Gay-Straight Alliance on campus.

He says East Meck is known as a school of diversity. He says Brockington’s achievement is the first step in representing what many of the students believe.

“Our young people understand we are all different. We have all races, genders and religious backgrounds. We have kids representing 30-40 languages in this school and people learn to accept each other as they are, and I think this is an example of what is going to be happening in North Carolina,” he said.

As we transgender people are well aware, sympathy or membership with one minority group does not necessarily extend to sympathy with any other minority group. However, the system seems to be working at this high school.

East Meck crowns transgender homecoming king | WCNC.com Charlotte.

Utah Lawmaker Succumbs to Transsexual Toilet Terror; Can the Children Be Saved???

Utah, a state which is not really known for its LGBT acceptance, has numerous schemes to attempt to “double down” on its intolerance. An intolerance which is quite hypocritical, given that a large segment of the population of the other 49 states views Utah as being subjected to a mysterious state cult, featuring a Native American Jesus and magic underwear.

In this case Republican State Representative Mike Kennedy has introduced a bill to force students to only participate in sports and use toilets congruent with the gender marker on their birth certificates. The bill even includes provisions for forcing a child who wishes to participate in sports or use the proper toilet, and who does not have a gender marker on their birth certificate, to endure a physical examination of their genitals.

Uh huh.

Thankfully, it’s possible that the bill will be paused, pending the decision on the invalidation of the state’s anti-SSM amendment.

Utah lawmaker introduces bill to define students’ gender for restroom use – LGBTQ Nation.

School Board President Wants Charges Against Transgender Teen Dropped

To catch you up on this story: a transgender teen was being bullied by three cisgender girls and fought back against her bullies, resulting in a brawl which was partially captured on a cell phone and went around the net. However, as a result of the fracas, she was the only one who was charged with a crime – misdemeanor battery.

The police claim they have evidence to back up charging only the transgender student, who all admit was being bullied – but not the other students. The school board president, to his credit, says all of the students have made up and there is no reason to charge anyone with a crime. The police, however, seem to feel differently. It’s really difficult not to be biased and second-guess things here without all the evidence.

School Board President Wants Charges Against Transgender Teen Dropped « CBS San Francisco.

California’s Right Wing Taking on Transgender Kids

This is a somewhat balanced article from SFGate which does not demonize either side and presents some basic facts for a person who has not been actively  following this issue.

I however can demonize one side – those who are fighting so hard to remove protections for transgender kids are, speaking frankly, a hate group. Transgender kids are the most vulnerable of all of us, and every time conservatives claim they are doing this to protect their sweet, sweet treasures, I ask them the following:

  • Why do they never evince one shred of concern for transgender kids who are taunted, bullied, beaten, or worse by using the wrong bathrooms?
  • What protections will they guarantee for transgender kids who suffer abuse as a result of the repeal? More or less than “squat?”
  • Can they name even a single case in their state of a transgender teen assaulting a girl in the bathroom? Ever?
  • Why do they never bring up transboys, only transgirls? Are they too stupid to realize the arrow points both ways, or do they just not give a shit about their virginal sons?
  • Why, if their side is so pure and holy, do they not join in decrying the lies and libel and slander by hate groups like the National Organization for Marriage and the Pacific Justice Institute, especially when the latter has manufactured fake news stories of harassment? Why do they allow the law to be misrepresented? Is a lie OK as long as your friends are telling it?

California to some extent drives the nation. If the haters win here, I fear what will happen next. And don’t count on Californians doing the “right thing” and defeating the measure at the polls – remember, this is the same “hippy, dippy” state which thought gays and lesbians were so scary they should be banned by Constitutional Amendment from being allowed to marry someone they love. Large swaths of the state are very conservative, and if the propaganda message gets out that leering, hairy transgender “boys” are sexually harassing the virginal Aryan daughters of California…then all bets are off as to what will happen at the polls.

California’s right pins hopes on transgender issue – SFGate.