May 25, 2016
I am writing this letter to urge you to strike down the discriminatory language that was passed in House Bill 2. I am particularly concerned about protections for transgender youth and them being required to use the bathroom corresponding to the sex marker on their birth certificate. This opens students to harassment, violence, and severe emotional damage. I know this because I have experienced some of it myself.
Though I am now 36, the horror that happened to me when I was in 6th grade still lives on. I was assigned male at birth, but always exhibited effeminate emotions and feelings. Because of that, I was harassed and bullied throughout grade school. In 6th grade, I experienced my first taste of life to come when I was sexually assaulted in the boy’s locker room. We were changing out from PE class when my bully dropped his shorts and another boy behind me forced my head into my bully’s naked crotch while I was bent down retrieving my clothes from my locker. They eventually forced my bully’s penis into my mouth.
The other boys in the locker room started laughing and when our teacher came in to find out what was going on, the boys quickly grabbed me and denied anything was going on. When I tried to tell my teachers what had happened, they asked others in the locker room at the time and none of them confessed as to what went on. So I was branded a liar and no action was taken. Angry and upset, I lashed out against my bully in an unhealthy way which led to a two day suspension from school.
I will never forget this moment because the school administration and my teachers failed me. Back then, things like that “never happened” and were swept under the rug. Even though I wasn’t out and identifying as transgender at the time, other people picked up on my gender dysphoria. I can’t imagine what would happen if a student who is more “out” than I was at the time was forced to use a restroom or locker room that doesn’t correspond to their gender identity or at minimum, a safe place to take care of personal business.
HB2 is being touted as “for the children”, however, it almost guarantees that an already marginalized group of transgender students will be put directly in harm’s way. If violence were to ensue against that student, their blood will be on your hands, as well as the other legislators who passed this bill. I implore you to think about all students and repeal these provisions immediately.