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Jennifer -- a attorney a transgender rights project director.
Gay and lesbian advocates and defenders do you have a date.
I welcome bit of show we've had a lot of talk lately about.
The issue transgender students why do you think they've been so much the news lately.
Well I think that as there are increasing numbers of protections for students then there's more visibility around.
-- -- the reality is there's always the first -- transgender young people on transgender students and school.
But often times people haven't been willing to step out and tell their story for fear of discrimination perhaps I'm.
While -- you've represented transgender students who denied rights to attend school because of clothing he successfully challenge a federal prison policy standing.
Medical care excluding the medical care for -- -- inmates -- is become your specialties.
Well I mean I have -- a deep personal commitment to ask in part because you know the people but I've met throughout my life.
Who think this kind of curious discrimination and also because they have a personal connection to the issue as well.
You're representing a transgender teen girl in mean.
In elementary school denied her use of the girl's restroom and other facilities this -- -- -- a number times.
We were having a conversation.
On this show just last night about.
A case of a six year old.
Which I'm sure you're familiar with the in Colorado.
The -- -- family and a lot of listeners concerned about.
How do you handle the restroom issue.
-- you know is it OK to say -- that either to a nurse's station you gonna go to.
Teachers' lounge and have a place it's neutral or other students don't go.
Yeah no unfortunately you can't do that because doing that clearly marginalize -- -- prices these.
Young people and -- the masses for the rest of the school community that it's okay.
Just treat those.
Didn't differently than all the other students themselves you know what you do as a student who -- that the girls who identified the girl and -- and I every other.
You know aspect of her life is regarded as a -- that the girls were.
And the reality here is that if there's leadership from the law.
About the importance about the school community that other children that the massive chanted we really can't know you know no problems where is that.
Or has supported that that decision to support the.
The trial -- -- pubs and other parents say I don't want my child going to the same -- to -- somebody with different generals let's say the Nike events.
-- I think there -- parents.
Definitely who also.
-- you know the same kind of misunderstandings and misperceptions about transgender people.
That you know many people do it you know occur across the society but that's the reason why we have nondiscrimination laws.
Because that kind sort of generalized discomfort.
When it is used to deny people educational opportunity purse if they can't be tolerated and you know we have lots of models bits from other nondiscrimination effort.
Where at first people might expressed opposition or discomfort but that's the reason why we have laws that protect all people on over time we see those attitudes change.
What do you think how do you explain if somebody were transgender is because.
Some people -- not grasping the notion that if you have.
-- -- -- a certain way but you feel differently than gender to which you're born that's hard to explain to people.
Well I get support for him that he can be hard to explain people what what I try to explain to people at that everything hasn't gender identity -- if you think about it.
You know you have a deeply felt sense of who you are.
Male or female for most people that -- -- lines up -- what our expectations.
Are are about how someone.
You're actually live -- Mac expert transgender people.
The identity doesn't line -- with the person's body so you know for somebody who is male I would say imagine.
Yes you know every day and -- it it it every day you were forced to act like.
Someone was senile someone who you're not an American how uncomfortable that would be you know I'm not to extricate not just for a week and not just as a lark.
Really seriously change that it was -- they've got comfortable.
Gotta wonder why nature would do that -- like playing a cruel trick Dearborn a certain way -- -- Your brain actually different way -- -- way that what happened.
Well you know was selling out all kinds of you know anomalous physical expressions and you know there -- ways at different human identity so I mean you could ask those same thing about racial minorities.
You can ask the same thing about I think my very cheap gas at the same question about people who are different sexual orientation and I think it's just.
But there's a range of different human identity system we have -- In Massachusetts they were in the news especially to the Department of Education as you know acted.
Last week -- directives.
Actually a couple of weeks ago for handling transgender students.
The Massachusetts family institute.
Says -- which is I guess a conservative group they say allowing transgender -- to use girls' bathrooms and vice Versa.
Endangers other students violates their privacy.
And a quote here from into -- General Counsel for that group -- fundamentally bush need to be.
To use voice rooms -- girls need to use girls' rooms and we base it on their anatomical sex not some sort of internalized gender -- -- -- Well you -- I have to say that the guidance that the department of Elementary and Secondary Education has issued will be life -- could do it.
And that's the reality is that for transgender students and public school if you force those students to.
If you don't recognize that who they are picking -- weren't they won't be able to participate in the educational environments.
And you know ultimately means they're denied an education and so I think the guidance is absolutely life saving.
And you know I'm I'm I'm really grateful for the fact that it's -- -- What do you say to a student who says look an -- comfortable locker room or restroom is other person who's got.
You know -- gender issues that I'm not comfortable with how do you explain that to the other students.
Well I you know it's the same kinds -- ways that we try to educate people about discomfort about all kinds of differences but people you know we have.
Disability laws because.
You know people are I have said historically -- they're not comfortable.
Sharing their -- through with someone with that you know physical or mental disability.
And we know we've integrated schools to ensure that students with different learning experiences.
Aren't denied an opportunity to learn because of other people misunderstandings about we you know certainly -- As you know.
Shameful period of our our history where we had racial segregation in schools -- tremendous opposition.
To nondiscrimination laws that would ensure an educational opportunity for everyone so you know this is really.
And the hard is it about educating people about different.
And I'm tolerating different sense supporting differences in school environment but also -- I think everybody will be richer.
Ensuring that our schools can provide.
Safety and support for all -- The dye and Jennifer Levi who's an -- been involved many of these cases.
And back -- the math this case in Colorado.
And they that is six year old is there any -- too young to really make that termination.
Maybe the person these little more time to develop before it can be determined that.
And this really is a gender issue -- this this child.
Well I mean I think that the parent that is.
I'm certain that the parents.
I address those concerns and.
Are working where you know therapists -- support people in the medical community to ensure that -- You know young person's expressed identity is is deeply held.
You know I was sincere and and strong expression of -- -- young person as we know that gender identity -- Almost everybody is is well established by the ages of three or four so we don't want you get to school when you've got.
Parents wouldn't given numbers that are supporting its duties to its transgender there's certainly no basis for schools to question.
Your co editor of transgender family -- -- defective advocacy what is that exactly setting.
-- -- -- -- I yep it's a book that pulled together really.
You know all the -- that we could identify it in the family -- context that.
Individuals and their attorneys can -- to establish protections for families you know the reality is that.
Transgender people think it's huge amount of discrimination.
When bankable -- -- -- -- get divorced from the critics family it's one makes it to ensure.
You know continued existence of family relationships and so it's a resource.
To try to pull together all about law and actually ensure that their greater protections for transgender people in the context of -- law.
Thank -- -- a professor in western New England university which hadn't mentioned earlier thank you very much for talking to a tonight.
-- appreciate your time.
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