I’m shocked. I’m absolutely disgusted. To all the students who walked out of Hillsboro High School, you are despicable human beings.
When Lila Perry, the MtF transgender teenager at the center of the issue, dared to use the girl’s locker room to change at school, it caused an uproar. Female students said that this made them uncomfortable because Perry is pre-transition and still has male genitalia. In a horrific show of ignorance, a student told Fox News that “Putting on a dress and putting on a wig is not transgender to me.” Parents are saying that their girls shouldn’t be forced to feel uncomfortable.
The fact that the students feel uncomfortable does not matter in this situation- they are forcing another student, who identifies as a FEMALE, to feel uncomfortable. By making her use a gender-neutral bathroom, they are telling her that she isn’t *really* female, a disgusting display of transphobia. These students took this student’s gender identity and used it dehumanize her, degrade her, isolate her, and make her feel worthless and unwanted. You know what this feels like? The “separate but equal” era of Jim Crowe laws for blacks and whites. We are repeating history, but this time we are telling transgender people that they are “less than” cis people.
This is no isolated incident. People constantly throw hate at transgender individuals, as though they somehow get a free pass to humiliate them, simply because they are transgender. Today, people somehow think that transgender people should not get to live peaceful lives simply because they don’t fit into society’s narrow mold. The Youth Suicide Prevention Program states that more than 50% of transgender teens will attempt to commit suicide. Planet Transgender, a newspaper reporting about trans news, released the staggering statistic that a transgender individual is murdered every 29 hours. Can you imagine what it might feel like to not fit in your own body? To be constantly tormented by the fact that your identity does not match what you see in the mirror? We can’t understand, yet we as society torment the people who do have to live with those feelings, instead of compassionately supporting them.
It is not enough to have individuals like Caitlin Jenner and Laverne Cox in the spotlight. They are brave individuals, and sharing their stories has helped to bring awareness to people who are transgender, but it is not enough. We have to work to eliminate transphobia in ourselves, our friends and our families, and in society as a whole. We have a responsibility to educate ourselves, instead of perpetuating our bigoted, misguided beliefs.
To the students of Hillsboro High: I am thoroughly disgusted with you. Your misguided beliefs about transgender individuals only serve to perpetuate a culture of transphobia, that contributes to the violence leveled against those who identify as transgender. I am saddened by your lack of humanity and compassion.