As this is a move towards providing more information to our schools & communities about the adversity trans youth faces, more inclusivity and understanding of trans people for our educators, and to give the general public a better grasp on gender identity and what it means to be trans, there are a lot of Virginians here that seem completely shut off to this, or just plainly, wanting to stay ignorant on these issues.
As the document that is provided for this policy notes; ""Gender: A set of social, psychological, and emotional traits that classify an individual as typically masculine or feminine, although the social construct of gender may be more diverse across a continuum rather than as a binary system.""
This is not about our youth "converting" or being tricked into anything. Gender identity is a form of self discovery, and that doesn't come as easy to someone compared to a cis gender person (who make up the majority of our society). This is not "the leftists taking over the world order; 1984 ANTIFA super soldier deluxe combo recruitment agenda" or whatever nonsense you are hearing from Ben Shabino/Steven Coward/Tim Fool. This is about a fundamental human right for trans youth (who are already protected under Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment). ESPECIALLY those in the schooling system, where they are more likely to face bullying, being misgendered and general harassment. Being trans/gender fluid/gender-nonbinary is part of ones identity, just as race is also a social construct.
Also listed under the document; ""In 2020, the American Psychological Association (APA) and National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) declared in a resolution that “all persons, including children and adolescents who are diverse in their sexuality and gender identities, expression, and/or presentation, have the inherent human right to equal opportunity and a physically and psychologically safe environment within all institutions.” The American Academy of Pediatrics (2018) also acknowledged that, “variations in gender identity and expression are normal aspects of human diversity.”"
What we label as masculine & feminine are very much a social construct (women wear make up, men wear suits, etc.) Even within those two examples, I don't see a lot of people fussing over women wearing jeans or men having ear piercings. At least I haven't heard anyone saying so in recent years. All that being said, those two examples still fall under the binary understanding of gender. SEX AND GENDER ARE NOT THE SAME. There is a large amount of evidence that can make this argument better than I could under this comment section. The technical terms are even listed in the doc! There are tons and TONS of sources this single document has sited, I highly encourage everyone to read up.
I'm incredibly disappointed by seeing how many Virginians, and especially parents, who criticize this policy, without putting the time or effort to even understand the core of what this policy is about.
I've seen people using sex and gender interchangeably, quoting scripture/texts from the Bible, saying ""Boys allowed in girls locker rooms and bsthrooms (misspelled nice) Are you people insane? I can see the problems already! Use your heads! Vote NO!""
or another comment saying; "'It is against our religious beliefs and is not how God created us - male or female."" there is nothing welcoming or accepting with this rhetoric.
The LGBTQ+ community (especially POC) are already historically marginalized in the US. The psychological repercussions that our youth will face after experiencing this marginalization takes a toll, usually towards substance abuse or suicide. The policy talks a lot about protecting trans youth and also making sure their privacy and safety is the priority.
As the doc states here; ""A 2019 national survey by GLSEN found that 84 percent of transgender youth feel unsafe at school, and those who experience victimization have significantly lower GPAs, are more likely to miss school out of concern for their safety, and are less likely to plan on continuing their education (Kosciw, Clark, Truong, & Zongrone, 2020). Compared to their cisgender and heterosexual peers, LGBTQ+ youth report much higher rates of depression, anxiety, alcohol and drug use, and lower self-esteem. LGBTQ+ youth of color may experience additional stress and adverse effects as a result of their intersecting identities, facing both bias against their gender identity or expression as well as racism. Research has shown that LGBTQ+ students experience higher levels of victimization because of their gender identity and/or gender expression and have more adverse outcomes compared to their cisgender and heterosexual peers (Human Rights Campaign Foundation, 2018): ""
On the positive side of this, seeing so many other Virginians support this is inspiring and incredible! To anyone else who is willing to learn more about gender identity, who doesn't understand the concepts but is good faith and wants to be more educated on this, I would highly encourage them to read this document and start the learning process. Talk to those around you, there is probably someone you know that is also hip to this information.
I identify as non-binary. I couldn't put into words how I felt about myself for so long, until I learned more about gender on my own, with the help of my friends and online resources. It helped give me perspective and a greater grasp to my own person.
To anyone who hasn't ever questioned their own gender, please show compassion and try to understand. Especially for the youth who are still figuring out right now. We want to give them all the resources they can access so they can get a better understanding of their own humanity. Trans rights are human rights!!