by Danielle Bergan
Okay, this might be a bit long but here goes. I am not surprised at 45 and his Republican administration's removal of basic human rights protections for our transgender youth. It is the reflection of the conservative, right wing that is now in power in Washington. Even more disturbing is Secretary of Education and an Attorney General who act in a gutless manner for civil rights matters such as these. However, everything we have gained over these past 10 years is not lost.
Look at how far we have come as a nation in recognizing LGBT rights. Gay marriage is now a fact of life. The Supreme Court, the highest legal authority in our land, ruled this is the law. And in the same way our Supreme Court did this, ruled on integration of our schools and a woman's right to chose in Roe vs. Wade, I hope and pray they will do the same next month when Gavin Grimm's case comes before them.
Trans-kids already are faced with bullying in many school districts on a daily basis. It’s also a fact that 41% of those of us who are transgender will attempt suicide in our lifetimes. This is generally due to non-acceptance by society. Remarkably, trans-kids that grow up as themselves, accepted and loved by their families and are allowed to participate in schools as the people they are, have no higher suicide rates than any other child in our country. It’s hard enough being a kid at all so why make it harder for trans-kids?
The craziest thing to me is all this hoopla over what bathroom a trans-student should use. It is driven by fear, prejudice and ignorance, nothing more. In case you did not know, being transgender simply means your mind and body do not match. For me, I lived life in a male body for years always knowing inside my head that I was a female. When I or a trans-kid wants to use the bathroom associated with our gender all we want to do is be like all other men and women, go to the bathroom.
In most school districts when left up to the kids themselves, the vast majority have no problem with transgender classmates. Under proper direction and understanding school districts can and do in many cases give trans-kids the same rights as any other student.
I sincerely believe that education, love and understanding are the keys to moving into a future where problems such as this will not exist. In the same vein, all of us belong to the human race. We all deserve basic human rights regardless of race, creed, color, natural origin, sex, gender identity, expression, or physical disability.
Transgender children or adults are the same as everyone. They have feelings, desires, wants and the right to live in this country like anyone else. The trumped up fears of sexual assaults are propaganda intended to scare the average person who has no idea of who a transgender person is. This simply is a myth propagated by the conservative religious right of the Republican Party. It is nothing more than hate directed in the face of those who can’t defend themselves.
Yet, there are those of us who are trans-adults who have fought long and hard for years to be who we are. We are joined by many in the LGBTQ community, allies, parents of trans-children and the average person who distains prejudice and bigotry in any form and who now stand in support of transgender rights for children. We will fight for as long as it takes to ensure that these rights will be won and guaranteed by our nation itself.
So to those in power in Washington, especially 45, please know, we are not going away. We will not lie down and we will never give up until all transgender children and transgender adults are ensured the same guarantee of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness that all American’s have the right of.
We will survive and we will thrive!