Rolling back transgender rights is a step backwards in human rights
In his nomination acceptance speech, Trump became the first republican candidate that vowed to protect the vulnerable Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender community. That statement has come under fire over his team’s latest action. Recently, the Trump administration rolled back on transgender rights by reversing Obama’s controversial policy of allowing trans youth to choose the bathroom they want in their perspective public schools.
Many critics are claiming that Trump is overlooking the “T” in the LGBT acronym. Trump’s administration, however, defends their action by claiming that they want the choice to be made at a local level, rather than a national one.
Only in recent years have transgender rights come to the surface of a national hot topic. With that, the question of what bathrooms trans youth should use has baffled lawmakers and the like. More often than not, a trans child will desire to use the bathroom of their preferred gender—the opposite sex bathroom.
In the United States, 1.3 American adults identify as transgender. However, there are currently no numbers on trans youth. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will include a gender preference question on their upcoming 2019 survey. Hopefully, that will shed more light on the exact percentage of American trans youth.
According to the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, a survey they conducted found that an astonishing 63 percent of trans youth between the ages of 12 and 22 were the subject of bullying. That bullying often lead to many problems with their mental health, such as depression and anxiety. The same center also found attempted suicide rates to be higher (30 percent) among trans youth, along with a higher history rate of self-inflicted injury (42 percent).
Clearly, our American trans youth are already experiencing hardship as a marginalized minority. Along with their everyday stress of exams, homework, crushes, etc., trans youth have to also worry about their gender identity and how others will react to it. Hardship does not end in their youth. As they get older, their job prospects will get narrower and their suicide rates will climb up higher.
They are already bullied. They want to belong where they feel safe. If it is a women’s bathroom where a transgender girl feels safe, then there should not be a question of what bathroom she should use. It is a matter of human decency.