Four years ago, Palatine-Schaumburg High School District 211 stopped banning transgender students from locker rooms but required them to change in privacy stalls. Now the district is considering allowing access to the locker rooms of their gender identity without requiring them to use a privacy stall.
If enacted, it will be a welcome and long-overdue change. Requiring trans students to change in stalls, while leaving it optional for everyone else, is dehumanizing segregation. Attempted suicide rates among trans youth are already too high. Trans people are more likely to be victims of violent crimes than perpetrators. The Trump administration is trying to roll back protections for transgender people. D211 does not need to contribute to this effort.
We have heard the arguments against open access to trans people, and find them unimpressive. To be frank, they read more like someone took old homophobic arguments and replaced the word “gay” with “trans.” While we understand the Slippery Slope Fallacy, we do believe that the “privacy” arguments being used against trans students could easily be used against other members of the LBGTQ+ community.
The D211 Board says it needs more time to consider this policy. We offer this suggestion: Other school districts have implemented this policy without incident, D211 should do the same. Cisgender people have nothing to fear from trans folk in locker rooms or restrooms. However, when trans folk are forced to use the facilities of their biological gender which are a mismatch to their outer appearance and inner selves, they are at risk for violence from cis-gendered folk .
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