trans students unite to defeat insane anti-trans bathroom bill
It's a bittersweet victory for Tennessee. Kansas, meanwhile, is considering a bill that will pay students a $2,500 bounty to 'hunt' for trans people in bathrooms.
A group of transgender students have become bonafide legends in Tennessee, banding together to defeat a bathroom bill that would have had disastrous consequences on their mental and physical safety. The bill would have denied trans students access to bathrooms that matched their gender identity, forcing them into stalls that match the gender they were assigned at birth. On Tuesday the bill died in the Tennessee House after the students bravely testified to a committee chaired by Mark White, R-Memphis.
"It feels great to know that my voice is counting," Henry Seaton, an 18-year-old trans male student who attends Beech High School in Hendersonville, told ABC. The committee chairman withdrew his support after hearing the testimony from Seaton and his peers, noting that the proposal wasn't just inhumane but could potentially complicate matters for schools that already had their own policies on transgender students' bathroom use. "Maybe we're making things a little worse than they already are," he decided.
Tennessee might be the setting for this latest triumph, but the dangerous trend reaches far beyond state borders. A wave of anti-trans legislation is currently sweeping the nation, and for people who live in places that have historically been more progressive when it comes to LGBT rights, it's easy to turn a blind eye to. South Dakota also recently vetoed a bill that would have dicated which bathroom a student can use based on "chromosomes and anatomy" at birth. Kansas, meanwhile, is seriously contemplating one that will pay students a $2,500 bounty to "hunt" trans people in restrooms. Here's hoping officials there are also capable of developing basic human compassion and/or realizing it's now 2016.
Text Hannah Ongley
Image via Flickr