Why are we making such a fuss about bathrooms and pronouns for such a small group of students?

  • Because when we include and respect one minority group of people then we are including and showing respect for ALL members of our community. School is a place where we are continuously teaching students to respect one another regardless of their differences, whether those are racial, religious, socioeconomic, ethnic, or learning differences. Gender identity and sexual orientation must be part of those same lessons of respect, dignity, and acceptance. By emphasizing these important lessons in accepting diversity, we will be modeling a more compassionate and respectful school environment for ALL of our students.

I don't talk about my sexual orientation, why do we have to always talk about LGBTQ+ people's sexual orientation or gender identity?

  • Whether aware of it or not, straight and cisgender people are actually always talking about their sexual orientation and gender identity. Whether at work or at church or out meeting friends, straight and cisgender people talk about what they did over the weekend with their husband/wife, the fun vacation they went on with their kids, or about the cool restaurant they went to with their husband/wife. LGBTQ+ people who haven't come out yet cannot easily talk about their personal lives without the fear of outing themselves or their loved ones. Even LGBTQ+ people who have come out, but may not feel accepted or safe in their work place (or elsewhere), may not feel able to open up and be completely honest with others without fear of discrimination or being treated differently.

Why do transgender students have to use the regular bathroom? Why can't they just use a private bathroom?

  • Whether cisgender or transgender, being forced to use a special bathroom can be stigmatizing and demoralizing, not to mention exhausting if the private bathroom is in a different part of the school building. Many transgender students who must use a private bathroom will simply not use any bathroom at all during the school day, which may compromise their physical health and well-being. They may spend part of their day limiting their fluid intake and thinking of ways to wait until they get home to use the bathroom, all of which can affect their ability to stay in school and focus on learning.
  • The popular 2016 movie, "Hidden Figures", highlights the issue of bathroom access when black physicist, Katherine Johnson, is forced to use a "colored" women's bathroom half a mile away from her office. She has to run back and forth during her work day just to use the bathroom and the mounting toll it takes on her psyche is a powerful illustration of the indignities imposed for having to use a separate bathroom. It is the same for transgender students who are forced to use a private and different bathroom than other students of their same gender.

What about students who say they are transgender just so they can use the opposite sex bathroom?

  • Transgender people are people in our schools who are treated respectfully; and they are allowed to use the bathroom that matches their gender identity. This is NOT the same as someone who claims to be something they are not in order to cause harm or distress to other people. Meetings between school personnel, students and their families help to distinguish between an authentic transgender person and a deceitful person who is out to cause harm.
  • Gender identity protection laws have been around for years and research consistently shows that there is no correlation between these civil rights laws and any increase in bathroom assaults or lewd behavior by sexual predators.