Courtesy of Reaca Pearl

8 Parents Of Transgender Children React To Trump's Reversal Of Federal Protections

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On Feb. 22, President Donald Trump informed the nation that the federal government will no longer defend transgender children's Title IX rights. The new order takes away any guidance on Title IX protections as it relates to transgender children in schools. The federal backtrack on Title IX has real-life consequences for transgender children, and parents of those children are reacting to the reversal of federal protections openly and unapologetically.

As part of the leadership team of Trans-Youth Education Support, I've been communicating with other parents of transgender children since news of the decision broke. It's important to acknowledge the privilege this particular group of parents have. First, most of us are located in Colorado, a state with solid transgender rights protections that existed before President Obama's original guidance. Second, many of us are able to activate and advocate on behalf of our children whose own young communities "get it." Though it's a risk to do so in this political climate, we are relatively sure that, given the aforementioned privileges, we'll be safe in doing so. Still, that does little to quell the deep, nauseating anxiety for our children, and for all the other families who can't use their voices. That does nothing to help all the children in states that demonize them like Texas, North Carolina, and Florida (among others) whose caregivers can't just up and move.

When legislators say they won't protect a traditionally marginalized group's civil rights, they give a pass to all those who would spew hatred. As parents of transgender kids, the following comments reveal the strength of parental love's ability to move mountains (or mountains of bigoted hate, in this case):

Caitlin, Colorado

Caitlin is the parent to elementary student.

It's the administration whispering in our kids' ears — the same kids we love deeply — 'you don't matter.' It's that message that cuts so deeply.

Erik, Colorado

Erik is the parent of a 19 year old.

Alba, Colorado

Alba* is the parent of a middle-schooler.

I want to sweep them all up and tell them they are beautiful and perfect and strong and their families (not just biological) are going to fight like hell to make sure they are safe and treated equally.

Lynda, Michigan

Lynda* is the parent of the college student.

Karen, Colorado

Courtesy of the individual featured
Shannon, 16

Karen is the parent of a 16-year-old transgender daughter.

When Shannon knows the school leadership is committed to providing her a place where she feels equal to her peers, it helps her to stop expecting humiliation as a daily part of her school day and allows her the space to focus on the things that matter, like learning and friendships.

Sarah, Nevada

Sarah* is the parent of a elementary student.

The love of a parent doesn't just move mountains, it shifts galaxies.

Remi, Texas

Remi is the parent of an elementary student.

Reaca, Colorado

Courtesy of the individual featured
Lily, 7

Reaca is parent to 7 year old.

The integrity and compassion within this parent community is hard to ignore. All of these parents are committed to continuing the fight for rights and against hate for all transgender children (and adults) throughout our country. This roll back changes only the amount of work we have left to do.

The love of a parent doesn't just move mountains, it shifts galaxies.

*Names have been changed.