Jesse Kremer and Steve Nass, a pair of Ignorant Republican Congressmen in Wisconsin, have introduced a bill seeking to ban transgender students from using school bathrooms or locker rooms assigned to the gender with which they identify.
In fact, they hope to require Wisconsin school boards to designate all bathrooms and locker rooms as being for one gender exclusively, and to require the state Department of Justice to defend school districts in lawsuits alleging the policy is discriminatory.
“This bill reinforces the societal norm in our schools that students born biologically male must not be allowed to enter facilities designated for biological females and vice versa.” —Jesse Kremer
Kremer [top] and Nass’ [bottom] bill defines gender as “the physical condition of being male or female, as determined by an individual’s chromosomes and identified at birth by that individual’s anatomy.” In other words, a penis means you’re a boy, and a vagina makes you female.
And naturally, because Ignorance is fed by Fear, Kremer says his bill is designed solely to provide “safety” and “privacy” to students using these rooms; well, not for the trans students, I’m guessing. Kremer plays that card about a real girl entering the girl’s restroom and being followed by a :::gasp::: transgender student, a male student in Kremer’s narrow mind, or someone who is “up to no good.”
Under the bill, a student who identifies as a gender that is not their biological gender may request special … different … accommodations; in addition, parents of so-called normal students may file a written complaint if they feel their child’s privacy is being violated because of transgender students’ use of a school’s bathroom or locker room.
And then, if the complaining parents aren’t satisfied with the school district’s resolution, they can sue the district for monetary damages and, as Kremer seems to suggest, also ask that the transgender student be expelled from school.
Luckily though, it appears that this transphobic bill would put Wisconsin in conflict with Title IX, a federal policy regarding student discrimination. That policy came about as a result of a case where the U.S. Department of Justice sided with a transgender student from Virginia who said his school’s policy of requiring him to use alternative facilities instead of communal bathrooms violated his rights, and that he should be allowed to use the bathroom assigned to the gender he identified with as a matter of mental health.
Let me make this queer: it’s a bathroom, with locking doors and private stalls, and for anyone, and of course, it’s most likely a Republican, to say that a student would use being transgender, or fake being transgender, to get inside a different gender’s bathroom for the purposes of ogling or being “up to no good” is just plain stupid.
Sheri Swokowski, a transwoman and board member of Fair Wisconsin, an LGBT advocacy group, understands the anxiety and apprehension some feel about transgender students using communal spaces with others:
“And that’s really due to a lack of education and awareness of what transgender means. When you have a transgender female going into and using female restrooms and locker rooms — there may be male anatomy, but frankly they are female.”
Plain and simple, gender isn’t what’s between your legs, it’s what’s between your ears, what’s in your core. Educate yourselves.
And, again luckily for trans students, in recent years many school districts in Wisconsin have adopted policies addressing transgender students’ use of bathrooms or locker rooms. Last year, the Janesville School District adopted a policy allowing transgender students to use the bathroom and locker room assigned to the gender with which they identify if parents and principals agree.
Even better than that, in the Middleton-Cross Plains School District, each school has at least one “gender-neutral” restroom, or the ability to convert a restroom into one. And in the Madison School District, transgender students have access to all restrooms and locker rooms that correspond to their gender identity, if they choose, and any student or staff member who objects, the district will make other accommodations for the person who complained.
Yes, the person who has the issue with a transgender student using the bathroom will be the one who makes the change.
Again, for Congressmen Kremer and Nass, gender is not defined by your anatomy, it’s a far more complex issue than that and for two politicians to use their own ignorance and transphobia to spread fear and to try and legislate against being transgender is disgusting.
Educate yourselves; when you know better, you do better.