THE LATEST

“Comfort is Key”

Photo credit to the New York Times

Spring 2016

BY CLAIRE TAYLOR, STAFF WRITER ’19

The life of a transgender person is a life vulnerable to criticism and judgment, especially in a high school setting where teens are on a journey of self-discovery called growing up. Maturing each year, your feelings about how you view yourself and others changes drastically.

As for RBR, many students will argue that we are accepting of our transgender population. This community is not shut down or made to feel ashamed. Transgender people are free to share their “true colors” here at RBR and are active in the LGBTQ (Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender or Questioning) Club. This club is hosting their “Sixth Annual GAYLA! LGBTQ & Ally Prom” on Friday, June 3rd. If interested, you can receive the details from: prom@makeitbetter4youth.org.

Outside of RBR, the 21st century movement for gender equality is a rising issue. Gender equality expands beyond feminism, applying to the transgender community as well. A community growing throughout the United States that has recently been recognized by the Obama Administration as the “New York Times” announced on May 12th that the Obama Administration is taking action by declaring: “…every public school district in the country to allow transgender students to use the bathrooms that match their gender identity.” This directive does not have the power of a law, however, a threat to face lawsuits or lose  federal funding is implicated.  State officials and many citizens continue nationally to agree that enforcing the equality of transgenders is long overdue. Robbie Goldberg, a 16 year old from Framingham, Massachusetts states her opinion on the topic:

“I’m a high schooler and the co-president of the Gay Straight Alliance at my school. I 100% think that   this is a step in the right direction. We have been fighting for this right at my school for years and are very pleased that it is being addressed federally. We are thrilled that this will make our school a safer and more comfortable place for students to learn (and relieve themselves) regardless of their gender identity.”

The Secretary of the Department of Education, John B. King Jr., explains that, “No student should ever have to go through the experience of feeling unwelcome at school or on a college campus.” While some laws do address transgender rights, prior to President Obama’s recent action, never has anything taken into account the effect this injustice has on our teen population. The school’s obligation under federal law is to provide: “…transgender students equal access to educational programs and activities.” The goal in this movement towards equality is not only accepting transgender people, it is the act of making it comfortable for them to learn in a school environment.

The 21st century movement of gender equality is moving in the right direction. People will choose who they want to be and still will be viewed as an equal individual. They will still be valued as not only a citizen, but as a student. As for Red Bank, we will accept our community’s own movement.

“Please know that history is on your side.” – General Loretta E. Lynch

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