by Sarah McBride •
WASHINGTON – In response to significant attacks on the rights of LGBTQ people, an unprecedented number of parents of transgender young people have come together to sign a declaration of rights seeking protections for their children and all transgender people from discrimination, violence and harassment. The declaration, signed by 1,400-plus parents and organized by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation, the educational arm of the nation’s largest LGBTQ civil rights organization, comes as the nation marks Transgender Awareness Week, and one year after HRC launched its groundbreaking national Parents for Transgender Equality Council in the wake of Donald Trump’s election.
“What started as a council of 25 parents of transgender youth one year ago has grown into a movement of more than 1,400 parents demanding dignity and fairness for their children,” said HRC President Chad Griffin. “These courageous parents represent tens of thousands more across the nation and the challenges facing their families must be addressed by our policymakers and public officials. From building welcoming schools to ending violence against transgender women of color, our work will not be complete until every child in America and around the globe is afforded the opportunity, safety and respect that everyone deserves.”
The 1,400 signatories represent all fifty states and Washington, DC, demonstrating the breadth and diversity of the community of parents of transgender young people. Among the goals articulated by the brave and dedicated parents are the need for nationwide, comprehensive protections from discrimination, inclusive school policies, criminal justice reforms, and access to affirming health care.
The declaration reads, in part: “Despite our progress, we see our children growing up in a world where equality for all is not yet guaranteed. We seek universal respect, dignity, and the promise of safety for our children, and for all transgender people.”
“Our children are not political pawns,” said Peter Tchoryk, parent of a transgender youth and a member of HRC’s Parents for Transgender Equality Council. “They are young people simply hoping to learn and live productive lives. But because politicians like Donald Trump and Mike Pence have chosen to target them for discrimination, our families have been called to defend ourselves from their vicious attacks. Our country has been here before. This declaration demonstrates that our families exist in communities across the country and that we won’t relent until our children are safe from discrimination, harassment and violence.”
HRC’s Parents for Transgender Equality was launched in November of 2016 to amplify the voices of parents of transgender youth. Increasingly, the political attacks facing transgender people target the youngest in the community. Earlier this year, 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.
Throughout Transgender Awareness Week, HRC will discuss many of the urgent and important issues facing the transgender community -- including support for youth and families, workplace equality, military service, and combatting violence against members of the transgender community. The week concludes on Monday, November 20, with Transgender Day of Remembrance, a time when the community comes together at vigils across the country to honor those lost in the past year.
Click here to read the declaration. To learn more about HRC’s Parents for Transgender Equality Council, visit https://www.hrc.org/resources/parents-for-transgender-equality-national-council.
The Human Rights Campaign Foundation is the educational arm of America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer equality. HRC envisions a world where LGBT people are embraced as full members of society at home, at work and in every community.
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