Being a trans student

Being trans is hard. This is not a hot take or anything, it's something that a lot of people know and is widely accepted. There's probably someone who would say something like "haha yes good! those [insert slur here] SHOULD have it hard!" but that's a guy I just made up now who is not real. Anyway, being a trans student is hard. Being a trans student in Stafford, Virginia is especially hard.

A definining expereience for me, I think, was going to the County Board of Advisors open comment session regarding a guideline regarding (for some bizarre reason) both Critical race theory and the usage of students' preferred pronouns in the public school system. There were an extremely unpleasant amount of people there who spoke negatively about the very simple act of asking for and using students' preferred pronouns. Mind that there is currently NOTHING REQUIRING teachers do this. The guideline in question was intended to require teachers NOT TO. That day, I wasn't expecting to speak publicly, and hadn't prepared anything. However, after seeing how many people actively opposed the simple inclusivity of using students' preferred pronouns, I became very passionate and quickly sketched a short outline. (I then proceeded to exceed that outline and embarassingly run out of eloquence.) There's probably a recording of that day I could find, but I can't bother right now.

About a year after that, Governor Youngkin of Virginia THE GOVERNOR! HIMSELF! created a bill or something that would require transgender students to create a "gender support plan". This plan requires students to be outed to their parents and other various people in order for their teachers to be allowed to refer to them properly. (There are probably a very large number of teachers that would actively ignore this.) It's fairly obvious that this plan is not actually for these students' support, as it endangers those for whom it is unsafe to come out. The day after he created this, he visited my government class in my school. I met him. I talked to him. I only learned about this plan the day after. (The visit regarded a different bill.)

The gender support plan is also a nuisance even to me, since it's a lot of paperwork and bureaucracy. Transness is well acquainted with paperwork and bureaucracy.

There's also just the basic question regarding coming out of "how will my teachers react" and closely following, "how will that affect me academically". Unfortunately, the answer may not be good. The teachers may not be accepting of trans students, and occasionally actively hostile towards them; my ex-partner has had such an experience with a specific teacher at my school. This may unfortunately reflect in academic bias, as teachers are overly and unfairly critical of the work of Queer and transgender students. I worry somewhat about that continuing in college. :( basically this sucks a lot and is not good at all. I don't really have anything else to say about it. It exists and it sucks, and teacher shortages tend to perpetuate it, since you can't just fire them or anything.

I would love to end this with something profound and inspiring or something but I really can't. The landscape for trans students is pretty bleak. It's bad here, and in many places it's even worse. What's happening in Texas, for example, is terrifying. The pushback against trans people finally finding some comfort and safety is a terrible phenomenon, and when it begins affecting CHILDREN, maybe it's time to reassess. of course, you, target audience, know this and agree with me, so I don't know why I'm presenting it like an argument.