On Monday, Dec. 7 at James B. Conant High School, I attended the school board for Township High School District 211, where a special meeting was held to vote on retracting an agreement to grant access to the locker room for a Trans-Female student.
It was a fascinating and mostly civil experience with democracy in action, and an emotional one at that. Many of the people there encouraging the restriction of this students rights, had a loud and fearful focus on the appearance of her genitals causing a discomfort or unfounded danger to the cis-female students. I don't deny that their children are uncomfortable, I just don't think their comfort is more important than the safety and acceptance of transgender people. Many of these opposing voices fail to realize that the comfort of the majority is not a one-for-one transfer to a trans student, she is not walking in that locker room feeling more comfortable than the cis-gender females who opposed her access. This is not a magic wand that fixes the issues of a few, at the expense of the many, this is a common sense act of compassion for students who face challenges beyond the scope of what any child should face in a free country. Freedom is a beautiful foundation of this country, it is not a comfort and it is not a popularity contest, it is a right.
There was also a loud and repetitive remark of, "One student", which seems narrow minded considering that there are probably more closeted trans kids in those hallways today, and there will be more with each new class of freshman soon to come. Thankfully their agency and safety will be trail-blazed by a single student.
Thank you to my new friend Nat, and the http://www.illinoissafeschools.org/ that they work with, for the invitation, treats and all the awesome work they are doing.
Here are some photos, and videos will come soon.