I am a parent of a preschool-age daughter, and expect to continue raising her in Virginia and having her attend Virginia public schools. I support the Model Policies on the Treatment of Transgender Students, because I want my daughter to attend schools where all students are afforded safety, equality, and respect. Whatever my child's orientation and gender identity turn out to be, she will be enriched by attending schools where all genders and orientations are welcome.
Study after study (and the lived experience of the trans and nonbinary people in my own life) confirm that schools are vital. When they provide a safe and supportive environment, students who are trans/NB are able to thrive and help elevate everyone around them as well. But when schools are a site of bullying and discrimination, especially under official sanction, it is not just the education of those students that is harmed, but their long-term mental health. Schools where discrimination is sanctioned and bullying tolerated breed harm not just the victims themselves but to society at large when those attitudes inevitably spill out of the school itself.
I am proud that Virginia is taking steps to protect trans and nonbinary students, and strongly support these policies being enacted. The beneficiaries will not just be trans and nonbinary students themselves, but all of us.