Legislators Across the Country Set Their Sights on Transgender People

After last year became the most violent in history toward the transgender community, 2016 is off to an inauspicious start with anti-trans rhetoric heating up in the states.

Bills are being introduced in state legislatures, from Washington state to Virginia (and everywhere in-between), aimed at dehumanizing and discriminating against LGBT people. In many, transgender people bear the brunt of the most extreme proposals.

In Virginia, for example, we are witnessing the most anti-LGBT legislative session in the state’s history. So far, 9 anti-gay and anti-trans bills have been introduced. Some of the bills reveal a fixation with determining the “anatomical sex” of students to ensure that trans students are expelled from communal bathrooms. One goes so far as to impose a $50 civil penalty on any student who uses the “wrong” bathroom. Others seek to prevent trans people from updating their Virginia birth records to match their gender and limit nondiscrimination protections based on sex to people whose gender matches the gender assigned to them at birth.

Another bill that the Virginia legislature will be considering next week would allow individuals and corporations to discriminate based on, among other things, a sincerely held religious belief or moral conviction that the terms “man” and “woman” only refer to “an individual's immutable biological sex as objectively determined by anatomy and genetics of the individual at the time of birth.”

And as bad as things are in Virginia, it’s not alone. Across the country legislators will  consider bills that would authorize countless forms of discrimination against transgender people. 

Next week in South Dakota, legislators will consider a bill to force transgender students in public schools across the state into separate restroom and locker room facilities.

Indiana has taken the discrimination a step further, proposing a bill that would fine transgender people up to $1,000 and sentence them to up to a year in jail for using the bathroom or locker room that corresponds to their gender.

These proposed measures have and will continue to devastate the transgender community. While adults in power vote to dehumanize trans young people, suicide, bullying, and abuse continue to decimate the community.

And no matter the distorted rhetoric these legislators hide behind, the message to the transgender community is clear: You are less than human. You are undeserving of protection and dignity. You are not wanted here. As one mother of a transgender girl explained to the New York Daily News: “We g[et] hate calls and threats. … Grandfathers saying they would stand outside the bathroom and teach her to be a man. The principal told me … she could (not) protect my child. It got so bad we had to move.”

But where will people go with so many bills being introduced?

Imagine what it feels like to be a transgender young person in Indiana, Virginia, or countless states across the country. You like studying science and playing soccer with your friends on the weekend. Though self-conscious about the truth you realized at a young age, you started to gain confidence once you began to live as the girl or boy you truly are.

Then all of a sudden you hear that your legislators are calling you a freak. There is a bill pending that would send you back to the girls room and make you pay $50 if you keep using the boys room. There are grown-ups in the community threatening you and your family. Your mom is sad. Your friends start to distance themselves from you. All of a sudden your life seems different. You wonder what, if anything, your future holds. Is this the message we want to be sending trans kids?

Stop the trend of anti-transgender legislation. Don’t let a kid in your community be the next one to take his own life. Join us in telling trans young people that they are beautiful and worthy of support and legal protection.  

View comments (38)
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Bobbie Jo Justice

I am a transgender female, and I WILL use the bathroom that corresponds to my gender identity.

Any legislator or other government goon that attempts to harass me or any of my transgender friends WILL regret their decision.

ENOUGH IS ENOUGH.

Anonymous

What if actual women don't want men in their bathrooms? Do your rights trump every other real woman? Typical man.

Emelye

Trans women are =REAL= women, buddy. Trans men are =REAL= men. Just because the concept makes you feel icky doesn't mean you get to deny its validity.

You don't get to force your interpretation of gender down our throats. Stop trying to suppress our liberty!

Tonia

Indiana, don't you have any sense of priority? Using the appropriate restroom would carry more than twice the penalty of DUI! Really? Carrying less than an ounce of weed carries 10 times the penalty of DUI. Try looking at the number of injuries and deaths related to DUI compared to the others. I'm going to wear skirts so that I can pee on your floors and cut my fines in half.

the boss

the truth is that you are correct

Anonymous

There is something wrong with a man thinking he is a woman or a woman thinking she is a man. It is mutilation with dangerous hormones. Most transexuals were sexually abused in childhood which messed up their minds and transexuals sexually abuse children. Transexuals are mutilated gays and lesbians. I don’t care what others say but mutilating a man or woman to make them fake members of opposite sex is gay/lesbian. And gay/lesbian groups are apologists for Transexuals which is why the word T is there. They must abolish this surgical mutilation.

All transexuals are homosexual/lesbian as the act of mutilating to become false opposite sex is itself an act of homosexuality/lesbianism-sad maiming and make this illegal. Finally, sex change maimings which is mutilating some1 to make them fake members of opposite sex is comparable to trying to make a man a fake animal because he thinks he is an animal trapped in a human body. Most feminists are not speaking against this. 1 would hope that feminists would oppose the mutilation that happened to Chastity Sun Bono as feminists have spoken against Female Genital Mutilation which happens in some nations. Transexuals are mutilations which no Dr. should take part in, yet most feminists are not condemning this female genital and breast mutilation as what happened to Chastity S. Bono where her healthy breasts were mutilated, dangerous hormone shots and her genitals mutilated.

Anonymous

Obvious troll is obvious.

Anonymous

Amazing. Not a single thing you said is correct.

Luci Rae

Well first off please tell me what dangerous hormones are being put into our bodies because as a trans woman I'm just taking meds to regulate my natural hormones. They keep my oestrogen high and my testosterone low. Also most trans people don't get sexually assaulted until after childhood, but unfortunately almost %50 get raped. I would have been one of those who would have been raped if my friend had not seen what was happening and put a stop to it, and no most trans people don't abuse anybody. The reason we are messed up mentally is because of people like you and these legislatures. Most of us live with depression and anxiety, as well as a few personality disorders caused by being treated less than human. As for as your feelings on mutilation, keep your opinions of what we do with our bodies to yourself, our genitals are not your concern.

Leah

Logical fallacies, misinformation, and fear of the unknown and misunderstood. It's depressing that this drivel is what we're up against.

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