Here in DC, trans issues have been coming up in the media a lot lately. Metro TeenAIDS, a local HIV-prevention resource, distributed a survey to DCPS middle school students. A group of cisgender adults are now causing a fuss because this survey asked students whether they are trans.
First of all, thanks and congratulations to Metro TeenAIDS for doing what the city should have done a long time ago: acknowledging that trans youth exist. However, we are saddened that so many cisgender adults are unwilling to accept this reality.
In the wake of recent highly publicized LGBTQ youth suicides, it is depressing to see straight, cisgender adults who are in favor of maintaining a climate of ignorance. If we do not even acknowledge that trans youth exist, we will never be able to “make it better.”
Finally, shame on the media for sensationalizing this story. Although the survey contained many questions about student’s sexualities, drug use and other risk factors, parents and media have focused on the gender identity question. (Amanda Hess shares her thoughts on why over here.) There is nothing “graphic” about asking someone’s gender identity. But more importantly, regardless of squeamish parents, supporting trans youth should be our top priority.