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For Immediate Release: Equality Texas Commends President and U.S. Department of Education for Supporting K-12 Transgender Students
Posted on May 13, 2016 at 9:10 am

Texas (May 13, 2016) – Federal law under Title IX already prohibits discrimination based on sex. The 4th Circuit Court has also ruled that gender identity is included in sex-based discrimination. These guidelines, combined with others from the Department of Education in recent years, simply provide a roadmap for following the law so that schools are safe for all students.

“President Obama is standing up for professional educators who have already been working to ensure that every student has a safe environment in which to learn,” said Chuck Smith, CEO of Equality Texas. “These same teachers have successfully dealt with transgender students on campuses across the state for years. And, they do so on a case by case basis that ensures privacy and safety not only for a transgender student but also for their classmates.”

Every child deserves access to a safe learning environment. It’s imperative for schools to do the right thing and prohibit all forms of discrimination against students.

“Transgender youth are already at a greater risk of experiencing bullying,  harassment, and even violence in schools and North Carolina’s action exacerbates those risks by creating a hostile environment in one of the places they should feel the safest,” said Lou Weaver, Transgender Programs Coordinator for Equality Texas.

We commend all the professional educators who embrace their commitment to providing the best possible education for every student. Not some students. Not most students. But every student.

The president’s directive is welcome because it serves to reaffirm the commitment of Texas educators to provide a safe and healthy learning environment for every student.

Equality Texas launched the TransVisible Project, an initiative dedicated to celebrating the stories of transgender Texans and their pursuit of fairness and equality. This past Mother’s Day, Equality Texas proudly released a brand new video featuring the story of Ann, Jim, and Ben Elder, a family living in Friendswood, Texas. In the video, Ann and Jim, who have been married for 19 years, talk about raising their son Ben, who is transgender – meaning he was born a girl but always knew himself to be a boy.

Lt. Governor Dan Patrick is a bully who is using fake outrage for political gain. We urge Texans to not be fooled by his bombastic rhetoric at the expense of the health and well-being of all Texas Children. Join Equality Texas. Discrimination is not a Texas Value.


Equality Texas is the largest statewide organization dedicated solely to securing full equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Texans through political action, education, community organizing, and collaboration.

Broadcast Quality video and B-Roll of the Equality Texas Transvisible Project for the media: