You've likely heard about the School Success & Opportunity Act, the recently passed and signed California law that grants increased safeguards and protections to transgender schoolchildren. If you have, you've likely also heard about the anti-transgender coalition that's trying to repeal this law. So far, their strategies have involved fabricating stories of harassment, claiming transgender students are "inherently harassing," and encouraging their followers to harass transgender students on line.
Being someone who deeply cares about the welfare of transgender children and someone who is nothing if not suspicious of this newly forged anti-trans coalition's intentions, I am always looking for ways to flesh out and crystallize what's actually going on with the other side. If you do this kind of work, one thing that stands out is how rarely these anti-LGBT folks present workable solutions to match their vocal opposition. They are always trying to stop this protection or that right, but they always do so under the guise of "protecting" their own interests. They never address the actual human beings, in this case, the protection of transgender students.
Wanting answers, I went over to this coalition's Facebook page (they are working under the devious name Privacy For All Students) and asked what, exactly, their repeal effort would mean for these students who will be left vulnerable once their campaign is through. I know they see a problem, but I've never heard them mention any solutions, so to speak. So I put it right to them. Here's what happened:
Their spokesperson's response is nothing short of enraging. Here we have a coalition (headed by Karen England, Brad Dacus, Dran Reese, Frank Schubert, and more) that is telling California voters that repealing this, the researched and carefully enacted law of a fairly elected legislature, is well within their pay grade, but they think it's somehow unfair for me to ask for some sort of plan to protect the students who the same research shows us face a very real threat? Unreal!
This law didn't come from nowhere—it was put into place precisely because the legislature recognized the problem. This coalition is acting like it's a two-sided conversation, where both solving a very real problem and concocting a fake threat (theirs) is on equal footing. They demand the legislators answer to their resistance movement, yet they don't seem to believe that they have to answer for the fallout that will come from their demolition. The transgender students, who are the very reason why we are talking about any of this, are left in the lurch while adults with political agendas turn their safety into a chess match.
It's not just enraging—it's woefully negligent. And dangerous.
**UPDATE: The coalition has now deleted all of my Facebook comments and banned me with a really lame "explanation" about why my ideas are not valid. But before they did that, they admitted that the are against these protections because they "don't want Sacramanto legislating tolerance of damaging lifestyles." I preserved that exchange before they banned and deleted me—find it here.