The White House may have no respect for the transgender community in America, but other politicians recognize that in the absence of federal encouragement, they must do what they can to protect this vulnerable population.
Enter: NYC mayor Bill de Blasio. Last week, de Blasio signed on to an expansion of already-established protections from 2014 which directs all schools in New York City to address all students by their preferred pronouns, protecting trans students from being misgendered by school officials and staff.
The rule is part of a series of guidelines passed this week and extends across the school district in the city.
In addition to guidelines on referring to children by their preferred pronouns – including non-binary, non-gendered options – the guidelines also instruct educators and administrators on how to address bullying of trans children.
“It is important for school staff, students and parents to be aware that transgender and gender-nonconforming students may be at a higher risk for peer ostracism, victimization, and bullying because of bias and/or the possibility of misunderstanding and lack of knowledge about their lives.”
While the right will no doubt decry the updated guidelines as more P.C. catering to “snowflakes,” advocates for trans issues know that a basic respect for trans students and their choices are vital in reducing murder and suicide rates among this population.
Until we can extend the same respect to trans students that we do to other students – namely not viewing them as monstrous pedophiles intent on invading your bathroom for sexual pleasure – guidelines like these will be necessary to inspire and encourage respect.