PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) — Hurtful, painful, unnecessary, and potentially deadly. That’s what some are saying about Governor Glenn Youngkin’s proposal to change policies for trans children in public schools.
“After everything I went through last year, it’s a slap in the face,” said Trixie Henry.
10 On Your Side first introduced viewers to Henry earlier this year when she was a senior at York High School. Concerned that she would be deadnamed during the graduation ceremony, Trixie and her attorney Rebecca Winn turned to 10 On Your Side’s Regina Mobley who exposed the difficulties the senior was having in getting assurances her preferred name would be used on her diploma and during the graduation ceremony.
Now a freshman at Virginia Commonwealth University, Henry was stunned late Friday when Governor Youngkin announced plans to change the guidelines.
“With Youngkin’s proposal to implement these policies it’s going to create a new wave of suicidality in young trans students, especially in Virginia,” said Henry who is now an anthropology major. Henry told 10 On Your Side she has been embraced by the campus community and the larger Richmond metro area community.
“Richmond, as a city, is more diverse than Yorktown, so college itself has been really nice,” said Trixie in a Zoom interview.
Governor Youngkin calls the proposal the 2022 Model Policies on the Privacy, Dignity, and Respect for All Students and Parents in Virginia’s Public Schools. Robert Barnette Jr., The President of the Richmond NAACP calls the draft discriminatory. In a statement issued Monday, the nation’s oldest civil rights group denounced the proposal.
See the full statement below:
The Virginia State Conference of the NAACP (Virginia NAACP) condemns the Youngkin Administration’s rollback of protections for transgender students. The rollback of protections for transgender students, outlined in the “2022 Model Policies On The Privacy, Dignity And Respect For All Students And Parents In Virginia’s Public Schools”, sends a deeply troubling message to students that this administration will not stand up for students’ civil rights.
Robert N. Barnette, Jr, President of the Virginia NAACP, states:
“Hundreds of thousands of transgender students received a clear message: the law was not on their side. This policy is painful and resembles the history of segregation in restrooms and other public accommodations and history is at risk of repeating itself. That painful and ignoble era is that while private space barriers like racially segregated bathrooms may have once seemed, to some, like minor inconveniences or insignificant sources of embarrassment, they were, instead, a profound indignity that inflicted deep and indelible harms on individuals of both races, and society at large.
The Virginia NAACP will fight for civil rights, and we believe all people deserve to be treated with dignity—regardless of race, ethnicity, nationality, religion, ability, gender or sexuality. No one deserves to be discriminated against because of their identity or to be targeted with erasure and suppression because of their
lived experiences. And we have seen how hateful speech and laws intended to discriminate against marginalized communities often lead to hateful actions – including violence.”
The Virginia NAACP has historically been at the forefront of driving our society to reject this kind of
discrimination. The Virginia NAACP continues to leverage our voices and expertise to advocate for laws and policies that promote the substandard treatment of any group of people.
Under the Youngkin draft, bathroom and locker room usage will be based on sex, birth names will be used unless a parent approves and parents can object to gender counseling before it takes place.
Read the entire draft HERE.
The head of the LGBT Center in Norfolk calls the Governor’s plan hurtful, painful, unnecessary, and potentially deadly for a vulnerable community.
“More than half of trans kids attempt suicide. More than half, it’s like 86 percent even, think about it and more than half have tried it,” said Stacie Walls, Executive Director of the LGBT Life Center in Norfolk.
“These kids will drop out of school. These kids will potentially end their lives and that needs to be talked about on a regular basis loudly even before the period opens on September 26,” Walls added.
The conservative Family Foundation issued a statement applauding the governor’s proposal which is in stark contrast to protections that were provided during the previous administration. Spokesperson Victoria Cobb wrote the organization is thrilled that Governor Youngkin has listened to the voices of parents.
Meanwhile, the student group Pride Liberation Project is calling for walkouts. It is holding a series of online forums in advance of the official comment period that begins later this month.