Target: California Governor Jerry Brown
Goal: Commend the governor for protecting the rights of transgender students to participate in all activities and programs based on their gender identity.
On this year’s Trans Advocacy Day, Governor Jerry Brown signed into law the School Success and Opportunity Act, which “guarantees transgender students access to interscholastic sports, gym classes, locker rooms and bathrooms based on their gender identity, irrespective of their biological sex,” as the New York Times reports. While many school districts and 17 states around the country have policies in place protecting some rights for transgender people, California is the first state to put legislation on the books that mandates broad statewide protections. This law also covers some of the California school districts that previously made no specific provisions for equal access for transgender people despite demonstrated need.
A few brave trans Californians have already spoken out about the necessity of such protections, attesting to the fact that lack of access to the same facilities, activities, and athletic teams as their cisgender classmates has resulted in delayed graduation and emotional distress. Calen Valencia, an 18-year-old trans student, celebrated Governor Brown’s action by saying in a news release that now, “other transgender youth won’t have to choose between being themselves and graduating high school.” This law goes beyond discrimination in schools to give trans students the best opportunity to succeed in their educational endeavors.
By signing this petition, you are thanking Governor Brown for his dedication to making the California school systems a fair and safe place for students of all orientations and from all walks of life. You are holding him up as an example to be followed by other governors across the country, until transgender Americans have the same educational opportunities as their cisgender fellows.
Dear Governor Brown,
I am ecstatic about the School Success and Opportunity Act which you recently signed into law, making California the first state to guarantee broad access to school activities, facilities, and athletic teams for transgender students based on gender identity. Your action and the contributions of all who helped this bill to become law amount to an inspiring example for those in the other 49 states.
Thank you for your dedication to equality for transgender students in California, and for your commitment to providing an education free from discrimination and filled with all the opportunities that cisgender students already enjoy. I hope your example encourages other state governors to pursue legislation mandating these same protections for transgender students across the country.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: jglsongs via Flickr