Carrie MacDonald writes about a trans student who was forced to wear an identifying armband in school:
It's a scary time to be transgender in America. It seems as though there is a new law being considered every week to deny transgender people equal rights.
Now,a Kenosha, Wisconsin school district is being sued for allegedly forcing one of its transgender students to wear a bracelet identifying him as transgender.
The lawsuit [PDF] claims, in part, that the school is guilty of:"...Instructing guidance counselors to issue bright green wristbands to A.W. and any other transgender students at the school, to more easily monitor and enforce these students' restroom usage..."
Given that "Transgender persons of all ages are subject to harassment and ridicule on a daily basis," as MacDonald writes, "We need to do everything we can to combat these discriminatory practices and defeat these heinous laws." It's worth pointing out (yet again) that being trans is not a mental illness. Matt Miller provides a quick history lesson:
It's a bit embarrassing to remember that it was less than half a century ago that being gay was listed as a mental illness by the American Psychiatric Association. The organization declassified homosexuality as a mental illness in 1973 [which] marked an acknowledgment by the psychiatric profession that many of the problems seen in gay patients--depression, anxiety, suicide attempts--were the result of societal judgment and hostility, rather than the sexual orientation itself. In essence, that it was finally OK to be gay--or at least, it was no longer listed as a mental disorder.
Today, being transgender is facing the possibility of a similar paradigm shift as the medical establishment seeks to better understand the condition.
Miller later notes the following:
Research out of Mexico this week underscores the APA's findings that a hostile environment is to blame for the pain that transgender people experience and may help move the needle. The researchers, who interviewed 250 transgender people about their experiences, concluded:
Distress and dysfunction were very common, but not universal, and were more strongly predicted by experiences of social rejection and violence than by gender incongruence, consistent with the perspective that these reflect the result of stigmatisation and maltreatment rather than integral aspects of transgender identity.
Forcing trans kids to wear armbands certainly qualifies as stigma and maltreatment...