I am a transgender woman from Newport News, Virginia, and I oppose this proposed draft Model Policies for the harm which it will cause trans and gender non-conforming children. The proponents of this policy would have us understand that this policy is about parental rights, because apparently parents MUST be informed of their children expressing any gender non-conformity, almost as if high rates of abuse by parents aren't heavily documented in response to this.
In spite of being raised in a generally loving family who better understands me now, in my own childhood, I still remember the screaming of my older siblings as I was thrashed severely with a belt at the age of SIX, thereby destroying my trust in adults regarding this inherent part of myself.
Though it is what many parents still will try, transgender was not something that could be beaten out of me, but that experience at six years old was not the end of my trauma related to having a sense of no one whom I could even speak to about it.
When I was thirteen I bought clothing at a local store. I was seen by an older person involved in my scout troop, who then intimidated me with that on a camping trip, used it to silence me, and molested me.
I did not feel I could safely discuss feelings about my gender with any adults, and that was used to victimize me further.
The further social isolation this policy creates for gender non-conforming children from safe adults, like guidance counselors, for fear of being outed makes them more vulnerable to predation and grooming, not less so.
It is important to safety that children have someone whom they can actually confide in, but a lot of people obviously do not care about the safety of trans children, who they constantly imply, as young children, would take on social stigma and use feminine expression just to prey on girls. Such assertions as that are not in keeping with statistics, and yet transgender children on the other hand are regularly preyed upon all the time by an adult population which not only lacks understanding, but constantly spreads fear and hatred through regular vilification in the media.
Not everyone who says, "I've done my research," is a subject matter expert when contradicting wide consensuses, based on peer reviewed studies, from psychologists, sociologists, neurobiologists, endocrinologists, and pediatricians regarding ethical and safe policy in relation to transgender people in this country.
I oppose this draconian "Model Policy" for the trauma that I went through, and that other transgender and gender non-conforming children will even more often continue to be exposed to, for how this policy will socially isolate these children who have been sexualized with these false scenarios constantly conjured up to attack these CHILDREN just for being different.
Newport News, VA