“My daughter is part of your community” – one mother’s plea for support for her trans daughter
Amy is a concerned mother who recently spoke at an Equality Virginia and ACLU press event to share her personal struggle having a transgender daughter in a school system which has been less-than supportive of her basic needs. She asked that her last name and her daughter’s name be kept out of the media, but she did want to share her story.
She was most concerend about Del. Mark Cole’s bill which would force transgender students to use restrooms aligned with their anatomical gender, and not the gender they currently identify with. While this issue can be hard for many to understand, please read Amy’s words below with an open heart and mind.
If you are moved by her words like I was, consider contacting your legislator here to show your support for inclusive legislation, and express your concern for the many anti-LGBTQ bills currently before the 2016 GA.
Below is a copy of Amy’s speech:
Hello. My name is Amy. I have to say, I never imagined that I would be a part of a press conference. Especially one that had anything to do with politics. Up until the last year, the type of politics I got involved with were debates between my children on who got to pick the radio station in the car.
But here I am today, both proud and saddened to stand before you. Proud, because today I get to tell you about my amazing daughter. She’s brave, beautiful, smart, sassy, and so very strong. Saddened, because across the street at the General Assembly, there are bills being considered that target her, try to segregate her, and potentially endanger her. Transgender rights are human rights, and today I am here to advocate for my daughter and the rights of all transgender youth like her in Virginia.
This is not a trivial situation. Going to school every day is an act of courage by my daughter.
There, she is required to use a separate bathroom, off of a closet. Which takes her 5 extra minutes every trip to get to, taking time away from her education. Delegate Cole’s House Bills 663 and 781 seek to further alienate, segregate, and potentially criminalize our transgender youth and the transgender community as a whole. In a school setting, these bills set the stage for intolerance. It turns peers into the potty police, requiring students to complain anytime they THINK someone of the opposite gender uses their restroom. In a public setting, this puts my young daughter in danger.
Her choice will be to share a restroom with men. Or use the women’s restroom, where she is safe, and potentially face a fine and a visit by a police officer. Since I would never allow my daughter in the men’s bathroom alone, I would have to accompany her.
Then I also would be placed in a potentially dangerous situation, and faced with a fine. You see gender isn’t what is in your pants. It’s what’s between your ears. And anyone who saw my daughter enter a men’s bathroom would be quite confused and hopefully, concerned.
All over the United States, we have schools that protect, and respect a students gender identity. And not a single reported incident. In Virginia, we are seeing more and more schools take a stand to protect transgender youth and staff. And much of our community supports these moves! Mr. Cole’s bills seeks to destroy that work and support.
I want my daughter to have a successful school experience. Part of that is feeling supported, respected, valued, and safe. Her school experience should not include bathroom monitors ensuring her anatomical sex. Going to the grocery store with my children should only require my purse, my list, and if my children are with me, my patience. It should not require a copy of our birth certificates.
These bathroom bills are discriminatory, and unnecessary.
Using a bathroom for anything besides its intended purpose will continue to be illegal. This is common sense. Delegate Cole, and any legislators considering supporting these bills, my hope is that you will take some time to meet your transgender constituents. Meet the parents of transgender youth. Really listen to what these bills would do to them and their loved ones. Talk to schools who have supported their transgender students and staff. Ask how you can help. Ask how you can be a part of these positive changes. You represent your community, and this IS part of your community. My daughter is part of your community.
“What’s unfortunate about this rescission (of policy) is that it sends a message to transgender students that the administration doesn’t respect them, does not have their backs.”March 7, 2017
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