President Trump’s transgender bathroom revocation

Our young blogger Aimee gives her views around recent political developments in America.

On Wednesday, 22nd February, the President of the United States of America, Donald Trump, revoked former President Barack Obama's guidelines around transgender bathrooms. Obama had previously told schools to allow transgender pupils to use the toilets and lockers that were associated with their gender identity, not the gender they were born into. Trump’s withdrawal of this guidance means that, instead, they may have to use the toilets for the gender they were born into. This is very concerning for many reasons, including that it could attract bullying and discrimination among many transgender teens who already are struggling— and make them feel unsafe and scared to use the bathroom. It may also provoke major gender dysphoria among the teens affected. Gender dysphoria is when a person feels uncomfortable, unhappy or distressed because the gender they identify with does not match the biological sex they were born with. It is a huge step back for the LGBTQA+ community as acceptance is becoming more of a struggle.

I chose to write about this because I think it is an important issue and something that should also be talked about more in our own country and across the UK— as the same issues affect some teenagers in schools here too. This is just one example of how people in the LGBTQA+ community have been discriminated against and treated unfairly for centuries. Many people do not have a real understanding of the struggles of people within this community and remain unaccepting and unsympathetic. I think it is time to accept that everyone is different –and to learn about the things we don’t understand – so that we can begin to treat people more fairly and people within the LGBTQA+ can feel more accepted, valued and treated with respect.

Quotes

"This is an issue best solved at the state and local level. Schools, communities and families can find – and in many cases have found – solutions that protect all students. I have dedicated my career to advocating for and fighting on behalf of students, and as secretary of education, I consider protecting all students, including LGBTQ students, not only a key priority for the department, but for every school in America. We owe all students a commitment to ensure they have access to a learning environment that is free of discrimination, bullying and harassment." — Education Secretary Betsy DeVos
"Revoking the guidance shows that the president's promise to protect LGBT rights was just empty rhetoric. But the bottom line is that this does not undo legal protections for trans students, and school districts can and must continue to protect them and all students from discrimination. School districts that recognize that should continue doing the right thing; for the rest, we'll see them in court." — James Esseks, LGBT project director for the American Civil Liberties Union
"This decision by the Trump administration to roll back protections for transgender students is just plain wrong and cuts directly across the American drive and yearning for equality."— Chuck Schumer, Senate Minority Leader