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Transgender rights

New York Teacher
Rainbow streamers across painted building
Ted Eytan on Flickr. (Creative Commons)

Pride Month has become an American tradition, when people in cities and towns large and small celebrate the LGBTQ community with friends, family and allies. But the fight to be treated equally in the eyes of the law isn’t over by any means.

According to the Human Rights Campaign, more than 250 anti-LGBTQ bills have been introduced in 31 states in 2021 — and many of those bills have sought to isolate and marginalize transgender kids by banning them from playing sports or receiving critical health care. This month, Florida became the eighth state in the nation to ban transgender girls from participating in girls’ sports in school.

These anti-transgender laws are rooted in a deliberate political strategy by right-wing Republicans.

Where does all this hateful legislation lead? The Human Rights Campaign recorded the murder of 44 transgender individuals in 2020 — the most since the organization began tracking these crimes in 2013.

As educators, we can support our transgender colleagues and create a school environment where transgender children feel they belong by avoiding gender stereotyping and affirming the gender identity of all children.

Let your transgender students know you stand with them. The UFT BRAVE hotline is ready to assist and counsel students who are being bullied or harassed. The hotline can be reached at 212-709-3222; students can also text BRAVE to 43961.

Related Topics: UFT Pride, LGBTQ rights