TEXAS – February 22, 2017 – Today the Trump Administration took a giant step back from their previously stated commitment to champion fairness and equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) people. By reversing guidelines previously issued by the Departments of Education and Justice during the Obama administration to protect transgender students, they are sending a message that the federal government is not willing to enforce federal civil rights laws for all students. While the Administration is rescinding federal guidance to schools on protecting transgender students, the legal protections remain in place.
Chuck Smith, Chief Executive Officer of Equality Texas said, “It’s important to remember that transgender students will continue to have access to legal protections under the requirements of the U.S. Constitution and Title IX’s prohibition on discrimination on the basis of sex. Federal laws that are used to protect transgender students have not changed, and school districts across the country must still comply with the law.”
“This is a demoralizing step for our president to take,” said Lou Weaver, Transgender Program Coordinator for Equality Texas, “and it absolutely threatens the ability of transgender students to go to school in safe and supportive environments. I am greatly concerned now that the state of Texas will willingly violate Title IX.”
“I’m a transgender boy, a boy who was born a girl but has long known myself to be a boy,” said Trevor Baize, an 11 year-old from Dallas, Texas. “I live as a boy every day. I just want to keep going to school, participate in all the activities, and be treated like all the other boys. It’s also really important to me that other transgender kids like me see that things can be OK.”
Frank Gonzales, also of Dallas, is the father of Libby, a transgender girl who is in elementary school. “All students, including my daughter Libby, should be able to learn and thrive in a safe school environment. Our schools should strive to protect all students from bullying, discrimination and mistreatment, and my wife and I are extremely disappointed to learn that the Trump administration does not share our values,” he said.
Equality Texas will continue to partner with our state-based coalition members to oppose any attempts to bully or single out transgender youth and their families and to provide accurate information about the law.
To interview transgender youth and their families in English or Spanish please contact DeAnne Cuellar, Communications Coordinator, Equality Texas, firstname.lastname@example.org, 210-896-9141.
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.
The TransVisible Project is a broad public education campaign to reduce prejudice against transgender Texans by effectively communicating their powerful stories through media.