The second day I begun my current job I was told about a rumor that was seen using the men’s room. It was devastating to me this being the first full time job I had since beginning transition four years before. That rumor cut me so deeply since I had worked as a cashier for years at the Walmart just a few miles away in that small town. Whenever I entered a restroom or existed a stall for months afterward there was utter silence. People would star at my crotch. Whole tables would get up if I sat down at the lunch room.
I brought this to the management’s attention and ended up with a department wide meeting that only served to spread that rumor. That was two years ago. Now I am more or less accepted. I have received over three dollars a hour in raises and am looking forward to my next advancement.
But for a young person with no previous life experiences to fall back on these rumors started by Pacific Justice Institute and amplified by Fox Nation are life threatening. The latest ‘press release’ from the PJI makes no mention of the child specifically but tries to reframe their intent with a wider brush. Curiously there was no mention of ‘harassment’ in there latest statement only a promise to bring wittiness forward. Again.
Trigger warning! The following video suggests that a transgender student is at fault.
The talking head begins with “Florance high school students say they are uncomfortable with sharing there bathroom with a transgender student.” but this statement is not backed up by any of the students. It is a rumor. One propagated by the PJI.
Cristan Williams debunking the PJI lies.
Further exposing lies and rumors a excellent article cross posted from the HRC Blog:
Earlier this week, conservative media outlets, including Fox Nation, circulated now debunked reports that bolstered a bigoted campaign
against a transgender student at Colorado’s Florence High School.
To its credit, school administrators have defended both the school’s policy and the transgender student victimized by extremist attacks.
Superintendent Vendetti continued, “I think it’s just an attempt to elevate the situation to a point where maybe some more attention can be drawn to that in the hope of having a different outcome. There’s not been any incident of harassment or anything that would cause additional concern.”
The Colorado Education Association has also come out in support of Florence High School and the student. The CEA has been working with local affiliates on issues important to LGBT youth and their families, including professional development for educators.
“Our promise to our students is that the Colorado Education Association will lead the way in guaranteeing every student access to the best public education,” said CEA President Kerrie Dallman. “As educators we all have a responsibility to ensure a safe and inclusive learning environment for every student. No excuses.”
In August, California passed legislation – the first of its kind – to protect transgender students from this exact form of bullying.
The School Success and Opportunity Act (AB1266) addresses the exclusion of transgender students from classes and activities to ensure all students are provided the same opportunities.
Under this law, which Gov. Jerry Brown signed on August 12, California public schools must honor the students’ gender identity and expression, including the ability to use the appropriate bathroom.
HRC applauds Cristan Williams for debunking the media reports and the Colorado school district for continuing its efforts to provide a welcoming learning environment for all students.