Thursday, February 23, 2017


I have allergies and asthma. I was born this way. It can be annoying, uncomfortable, and limiting. I've been through years of allergies shots, taken a boatload of medication, visited the emergency room after a run-in with book mold and cats. I can't have pets, even though I love animals.

But this is who I am. I was born this way, and I have learned to deal with it.

And you know what? Nobody is offended.

No one scorns me, doubts the veracity of my claims, or tries to interfere with my civil rights. What a privilege that is. It's just accepted that "that's the way I am."

Not so for LGBTQ folks. So often they don't get that benefit of the doubt. "This is who I am." "This is how I was made." No, they don't get a free pass because just the fact of their existence offends somebody.

Before I go any further, I want to be clear that I know my analogy is flawed. Allergies and asthma are an illness, ones I wish could be completely remediated. Being LGBTQ is most definitely not an illness. It is no more an illness than having blue eyes, brown hair, being tall, or petite. But it is the closest I can get to imagining what it would be like if someone looked at something about me that is completely inborn and was "offended."

The violence being done to trans students by the Trump administration in rescinding Title IX protections is incalculable. Trans students are already at a high risk for harassment, bullying, and suicide. Being able to use the bathroom is such a basic need and without it, students can't access education.

Sure, you can have an education. You just can't go to the bathroom. Because I'm offended by who you are. By the way you were born.

This is a blatant violation of civil rights.

We have trans students in Howard County who struggle on a daily basis with getting the system to truly acknowledge and respect who they are. These are our children. How do you think they feel this morning?

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