As a parent of two middle school students who attend Virginia public schools, one a cisgender girl and one a cisgender boy, I fully support the Model Policies for the Treatment of Transgender Students in Virginia's Public Schools. School should be a safe, nurturing, and welcoming space for ALL students - especially those students who are most at-risk and marginalized like trans students. Schools that are inclusive for trans and nonbinary students are more inclusive for cisgender students as well.
Trans students do not pose a danger to cisgender students; in fact, trans students are more likely to be the victims of abuse and misconduct. Allowing trans students to participate in the PE class that matches their lived identity, participate on sports teams that match their lived identity, and use restrooms that match their lived identity takes nothing away from cisgender students. I fully recognize that schools must make policies that balance the needs and freedoms of all students - however, those decisions should never come at the cost of student health and wellbeing.
The suicide rate among trans youth is staggering. School is the only safe space that some students have, especially if their family is not supportive of their gender identity. They deserve safe, affirming, and supportive school experiences. The Model Policies help schools accomplish that, and take nothing away from the needs and experiences of cisgender children like mine. In fact, I want my children to learn and interact with peers who are able to live as their true authentic selves.