1,500 Parents of Trans Kids Send Letter To Trump-Pence Denouncing Attempt to Erase Trans People

by Sarah McBride

Parents of transgender and non-binary youth decry attempt to roll back critical protections for their children and young people across the United States.

Today, HRC released a letter to Donald Trump and Mike Pence denouncing their administration’s proposed regulations narrowly defining “sex” to exclude transgender people and to eliminate federal civil rights protections for LGBTQ people in the process. The letter, signed by more than 1,500 parents from all 50 states and Washington, D.C., was organized by HRC’s Parents for Transgender Equality Council, a coalition of the nation’s leading parent-advocates working for equality and fairness for transgender people.

“As the parent of a beautiful and bold transgender child, our families deserve the full and equal protection of the federal government and our nation’s civil rights laws” said Jodie Patterson, a member of HRC’s Board of Directors and HRC’s Parents for Transgender Equality Council. “Our government has an obligation to assist and protect young people, not to erase them. I’m proud to join with other parents across our nation in condemning this Administration’s proposal, and our families need all fair-minded voters to turn out between now and November 6 to make sure we elect leaders who will defend the rights of our children.”

“The Trump-Pence administration’s latest anti-LGBTQ proposal is a direct attack on the fundamental equality of transgender people, and it is constitutes an unconscionable betrayal of young people by their nation’s leadership,” said HRC National Press Secretary Sarah McBride, a transgender advocate. “This Administration has heartlessly targeted the rights and wellbeing of transgender young people since their first days in office, but Trump and Pence should know that families and friends and allies of all ages will not stand by or be silent. This November, they’ll be hearing from all of us on Election Day.”

The parents, speaking for the thousands of families of transgender children across the country, write, “As parents, all we want is for our children to be safe, healthy, and fulfilled. Our children have our unconditional love, and many have the support of a loving community of friends, peers, teachers, coaches, and other allies. Sadly, however, our children also face ostracization and discrimination in far too many places. We fear every day that our children will encounter bullies -- but we never imagined that the most threatening bullies would be in the White House.”

HRC’s Welcoming Families Program released a resource this week for educators who may have questions about what this proposal means for their students.

 A recent survey by HRC and the University of Connecticut of more than 12,000 LGBTQ youth found that 50 percent of transgender, non-binary or otherwise non-cisgender youth never use the restroom in school because they are prevented from using facilities that align with their gender identity. Only 18 percent report that they are always referred to with the correct pronouns at school, and only 30 percent are able to completely dress and express themselves in a way that matches their gender identity.

In 2017, when the Trump-Pence Administration rescinded lifesaving guidance promoting the protection of transgender students, HRC’s Parents for Transgender Equality council sent a letter to the administration from more than a thousand parents demanding that the Obama-era guidance be preserved. And earlier in 2018, the Parents council sent a letter to Secretary of Education Betsy Devos condemning her failure to protect transgender students and calling on her to recognize the basic human and civil rights of transgender young people in our nation’s schools.

To read the full letter, click here.