Target: South Dakota Governor Dennis Daugaard
Goal: Stop proposed bill that would force transgender teens to use separate bathrooms and locker rooms in schools.
In South Dakota, a new bill has been proposed that would require school-aged transgender individuals to use a separate “trans restroom”. The supposed reasoning is to make the transgender kids more comfortable, and to protect “modesty” in bathrooms and locker rooms. However, this bill is little more than discrimination dressed up in pretty words. It will ostracize students, and will “out” teens who may not otherwise want their peers to know they are transgender.
This bill puts a lot of adolescents at risk of bullying and assault they may not otherwise face. It also operates under the assumption that activities go on in bathrooms and locker rooms that require examination of genitalia. Even public locker rooms have shower stalls, and men’s restrooms are equipped with stalls too. There is no reason a trans teen, or any teen, should be subject to such an inscrutable invasion of privacy.
It is a bill that, while claiming to wish only the best and comfort for trans teens, inherently devalues them. This bill is basically saying that while it acknowledges them as transgender, it does not acknowledge them as the men or women they identify as. This bill disrespects them, and is a major step backward in trans rights.
Don’t allow this bill to pass and let the South Dakota government know it’s definitely not a bill with teen interest at heart.
Dear Governor Daugaard,
While it’s understandable to be concerned about adolescent comfort in restrooms and locker rooms, the bill proposed is not the way to go. This bill will do little more than ostracize transgender teens and set them apart. They identify as either male or female, and should be respected in their decision, not told that their bodies are immodest and unfit to be among their peers. This bill will pave the way for further bullying, and single out teens whose peers may not know are transgender.
Many arguments supporting the bill repeatedly outline being modest about the difference between transgender bodies and cisgender bodies. A person is visiting the toilet for a very specific reason, one which should not result in the examining of their genitals. Even male restrooms are equipped with stalls, and many locker rooms are as well. At what point should a teen, transgender or not, be forced to expose their genitalia to those they are in the toilet with? If they are, there are more important questions to be asked in concern to sexual assault.
The bottom line is, this bill will do nothing to protect anything but outdated ideologies. These ideals can be very harmful to student safety. Especially when one considers the alarming number of transgender individuals assaulted and bullied by their peers every day. Why exacerbate this problem by forcing them to “out” themselves with segregated toilets? History shows quite plainly that segregation has never been successful, and it will not be successful here.
Please consider the health and safety of these students beyond the ideals of politicians. Protect them and their rights to individual identity and the choice to inform their peers of their status as transgender. Do not put more lives in jeopardy to enforce an inapplicable standard of modesty.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: ParaDox