Being a Transgender Child in 2018
Transgender issues have been discussed in greater depth since 1980, and some strides have been made, however there are still many challenges that face transgender individuals. A study conducted by GLSEN’s fifth National School Climate Survey found that only 16% of the time school personnel interfered when homophobic remarks were made. Whereas when sexist and racist remarks were made they interfered 33% and 54% of the time. Furthermore, they found that 65% of transgender students felt unsafe in school due to their sexual orientation. This is a huge number, no child should feel unsafe to go to school, especially due to their gender or sexual identity. Harassment is still occurring in schools, the study found that 87% of transgender students had been verbally harassed due to their sexual orientation or gender expression. Even more upsetting is that 55% of transgender students had been physically harassed in school for the same reasons. Despite the passage of time between 1980 and 2018, transgender students are still being harassed at an alarming rate.
However, laws have been passed to try and advocate for transgender people. There are now laws that call for neutral gender bathrooms, that any individual is allowed to use regardless of their gender. This can help transgender people feel more comfortable going to the restroom, without fear of being yelled at for using the ‘wrong’ one. There is also legislation supporting equal opportunities for transgender student athletes, that allows them to play on the sports team of their gender identity. This can help them form bonds with their teammates and feel more accepted at their school. Also, in 2016 the U.S. Department of Education passed a law that states that single-sex schools and schools receiving federal money have to treat transgender students consistent with their gender identity, helping them to feel comfortable.
“On the Team: Equal Opportunities for Transgender Student Athletes.” National Center for Lesbian Rights, 11 June 2014, www.nclrights.org/legal-help-resources/resource/on-the-team-equal-opportunities-for-transgender-student-athletes/.
“Championing LGBTQ Issues in K-12 Education since 1990.” GLSEN, www.glsen.org/sites/default/files/Harsh Realities.pdf .