Sunday, May 05, 2013

LA TIMES Highlights Bill To Help Transgender Students

Donnie Collins is member of a fraternity at a
Massachusetts college who was born a girl
The Los Angeles Times ran on editorial called "A level playing field for transgender students" which highlights AB 1266, a pending bill which would help transgender students throughout the state of California.

New legislation would bring clarity to the situation. Under AB 1266, schools would be required to provide transgender students with full access to facilities and activities in conformance with the gender that they feel identifies them. This won't necessarily be easy; there undoubtedly will be people who strenuously object to having someone who is physically of the opposite sex sharing locker rooms and showers; others will certainly argue that if children with the physical attributes of boys are allowed to play on girls' sports teams, it will be unfair. 
Obviously, these are uncomfortable questions for some students and parents. But discomfort is not a valid reason to allow discrimination, just as it would not have been acceptable for schools to ban gay or lesbian students from the bathrooms of their respective genders 30 years ago. 
In the end, this might play out as a less controversial issue than some people think; Los Angeles Unified already has a full-access policy for its transgender students and reports that it has gone smoothly. Teenagers and young adults are notably freer of biases about sexual orientation and identity. If the adults don't make trouble, chances are that things will be fine.
This is another sign to show how ahead of the curve California is in dealing with LGBT issues. Kudos to Assemblymember Tom Ammiano and the Transgender Law Center to get the bill introduced and I hope it becomes law.

Hat/tip to Autumn Sandeen

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