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A bill approved by the California state legislature would allow transgender students to use bathrooms and locker rooms, and try out for sports teams, of the gender they identify as their own, instead of their biological gender. Supporters of the controversial bill, which is awaiting action by the governor, say it will go a long way in preventing bullying and removing the stigma that often faces transgender youth. But opponents argue that parents should not have to worry about their kids sharing locker rooms and bathrooms with the opposite sex.

Guests:
Eli Erlick, executive director of the Trans Student Equality Resources
Ilona Turner, legal director of the Transgender Law Center
Matthew McReynolds, attorney for the Pacific Justice Institute

  • Beth Grant DeRoos

    Why not have traditional bathrooms as well as bathrooms for anyone who doesn’t mind sharing with the opposite sex?

    To bad schools are not as concerned with turning out literate students as they are about all this gender sexual stuff.

    • Blaine Johnson

      Why not open all bathrooms to all people and stop sexualizing waste elimination. People hanging out for any other purpose would be quickly ostracized.

    • Lawrence

      In ancient Rome, where homosexuality was accepted, bathrooms were not gender-specific — at least not for the common people. Males and female shared the bathrooms. It seems like we could follow their example but sexists of both genders would surely complain.

  • Bob Fry

    At what point do the feelings (they’re not civil rights) of the very large majority outweigh the feelings of a very tiny minority?

  • Eric

    Only in California.

    This legislation is very naive and impractical. The bathroom issue is solvable, but it’s insensitive to the rights of other students to let transgendered students pick the bathroom of their choice. And does anyone really think bullying will be reduced by allowing transgendered kids to pick the sports teams they want to join? Wow. Talk about a formula for bullying and controversy. What if a genetic male participating on a female sports team actually won an individual event (think swimming, track and field, etc.)? Will this be seen as “cheating”?

  • Blaine Johnson

    Isn’t it about time that we stop separating people, for any reason. Period. This is not about sexuality, it is about perceived morality. I find it ironic that the free thinkers of the ’70s are many of the ones pushing for morality based laws today.

  • Wesley Chandler

    Why not dispell this all together buy having Unisex bathrooms?
    This is only a problem because of the immature culture we raise our children in; instead of teaching them boy parts and girl parts are bad we should be teaching them that its just natural thus diffusing the taboo nature surrounding the sexes that gives rise to inappropriate behavior.

  • B.Chen

    Seems to me this is precisely about teaching sociocultural literacy, i.e. very practically, “how do I read gender/sex/sexuality in life”? And this results in insights, e.g. that men have feminine and masculine parts of themselves, which is an insight for everyone, not a “tiny minority.” It is a loosening of the violence of how we continually regulate each other’s gender/sex/sexuality.

  • Samantha

    As a transgender woman, i have to emphasize the dramatic harm to transgender students that defeat of this law would perpetuate. It cannot be understated how anxiety-producing the issue of ‘correct’ bathroom usage is, even for adults.

    I understand that there is discomfort and privacy concerns on the other side, but while there is always the possibility of abuse, such cases are objectively rare, and do not, in my opinion, come close to outweighing the enormous benefit to transgender students.

  • Dianne

    I’m the mother of three students in California public schools. I fully support AB 1266. I want my children to be in school environments where every student is given access and the opportunities they need to succeed in school. I have no concerns about my children sharing facilities or being on sports teams or in classes with transgender students. The arguments raised against AB 1266 remind me of arguments made against the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” “What if” scenarios simply don’t occur in practice and shouldn’t be used to continue to discriminate against thousands of students who need this law in order to succeed in school.

  • Thank you for taking the time to listen to this show, and think about how we can support transgender students. We look forward to celebrating the Governor’s signature. To learn more about transgender people, please visit our website.

  • Pacific Justice

    This bill will jeopardize the safety and privacy of ALL students. We encourage you to visit: http://www.GenderInsanity.com to learn more.

  • Bethany Wade

    It amazes me to constantly hear the religious right condemn these sorts of bills and actions as ‘just’ a way that would allow straight men/boys to ‘pretend’ they are transgender, just to sexually assault women/girls in the women’s bathroom. So often, they do not seem to have a problem with the transgender persons, but with straight males. Go figure…

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