Monday, June 13, 2016

TRANSGENDER AMERICA - Kentucky Leads the Way

"As transgender teens struggle, here's how one Kentucky school leads the way" PBS NewsHour 6/7/2016


SUMMARY:  Gender dysphoria is a difficult situation for a teenager to manage; nearly half of all transgender teens around the country report having suicidal thoughts.  Some schools are taking steps to address the issue, such as Atherton High School in Louisville, which became Kentucky's first to adopt an official policy for transgender students.  Yasmeen Qureshi of Education Week reports.

JUDY WOODRUFF (NewsHour):  Public schools are caught in the middle of a political debate over bathrooms.  The Obama administration says restricting a transgender student's access to restrooms and locker rooms based on biological sex is discrimination and can be grounds for withholding funding.

But that directive has set off some angry reaction.  Kentucky is one state where many leaders don't agree with the President.  And we look at how one school in Louisville decided to act proactively before the bigger debate began.

Special correspondent Yasmeen Qureshi of Education Week has the story.  It's part of our weekly education series, Making the Grade.

YASMEEN QURESHI (Education Week):  What's it like to question your gender?

MADDIE DALTON, Student, Atherton High School:  It's a little bit scary in the very beginning, I suppose, because you know that you're going to have to face a lot of discrimination.

Like, go through the YouTube comments on any video about trans people, and you will see, like, just how many people are still, like, openly hostile to this idea.

YASMEEN QURESHI:  Seventeen-year-old Maddie Dalton is transgender.  She says she's always been a girl, but didn't know it.

CASSANDRA KASEY, Parent:  Forever, she had that little widow's peak.

YASMEEN QURESHI:  She came out to her parents when she was 15 years old.

CASSANDRA KASEY:  It was chaotic at first.

And the way I felt it in the very beginning, when I was still coming to terms with it, was, if I had a friend who came to me and said that their child had come out to them as transgender, I would have thought, hooray.  You know, your — this young person is becoming who they are.

So, why would I not afford my own child that same — that same blessing?  So, even though it was difficult, it was the only right thing to do.

No comments: