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GLSEN Response to HHS Anti-Trans Memo

In response to the New York Times’ October 21 story “Trump Administration Eyes Defining Transgender Out of Existence,” GLSEN Executive Director, Dr. Eliza Byard, issued the following statement:

“This is only the most recent evidence of this Administration’s dedication to harming the most vulnerable among us. To claim that this proposal has anything to do with science, objectivity, and the requirements of effective administration is a vicious lie. From very early in this Administration, we have met with officials to ensure they heard firsthand from transgender students facing harm in our nation's K-12 schools. Despite all the evidence – from science, from the experience of school administrators, and from students and their parents themselves – they have chosen instead to do them further harm. 

When it comes to determining the medical needs of youth and children, we need to listen to physicians-- not politicians. Last month,  the American Academy of Pediatrics made it clear that medical professionals agree that transgender youth deserve the care, safety, and supports to live healthy lives as they identify their gender.

Fortunately, school leaders across the country have ample practical examples of how they can support transgender students and afford them the dignity and respect that basic humanity requires. GLSEN has worked for more than a decade with school districts that have done this well, with no disciplinary issues or complaints. Model policy recommendations based on their wealth of practical experience can be found at www.glsen.org/modelpolicies. Guidance for teachers interested in transgender-inclusive pedagogy, based on the experience of their peers and the requests of students themselves, can be found at www.glsen.org/safespace.

Make no mistake, this administration’s relentless assault on transgender people is already causing harm. Just last week, GLSEN released our most recent report on LGBTQ youth experiences in schools (www.glsen.org/nscs) which illustrated an alarming threat to the progress made in the lives of LGBTQ students over the past decade, including a steady increase in negative remarks heard about transgender people. (87% of LGBTQ youth reported hearing negative remarks about transgender people. 2017 NSCS)

We have seen over the past decade how sound and humane government policy can make people’s lives better. In contrast, our current Administration is providing an obscene demonstration of the exercise of power to do harm.” 

Media Contact
Chris Tuttle, Director of Communications
press@glsen.org | 646-388-6581