I fully support this guidance and what it means for my students and their peers. My children are unaffected by sharing locker rooms and restrooms with trans and non-binary students. Their peers are also unaffected and not worried about this. This isn't an issue for the students, it is an excuse for adults to throw vitriolic statements at families of LGBTQ children.
The truth is, and I suspect everyone involved with this process already knows, that our youth are in crisis. They are taking their own lives, dying by suicide in numbers that should alarm everyone. LGBTQ youth that are supported at home and school are 40% less likely to consider suicide than those who are not in supportive situations. This should be the basis from which we work forward.
My children have lost friends that have died by suicide. We know many families that have children who have received inpatient care at pediatric mental health facilities due to overwhelming depression and anxiety. I have lost count of the students that have decided to home school or go to homebound education because their experiences at school have been so awful. All of these students identify as LGBTQ. It can't just be a coincidence.
This guidance means more protection for youth. This guidance forces schools to adapt and educate their teachers and administrators about the challenges faced by our youth. This isn't going away. This isn't some fad or phase. We will either adapt or we will continue harming our children.
I speak from experience, I speak from a place of knowledge and pain. I also have hope and continue to work for the best outcome for all LGBTQ students in Virginia.