UW-L Reacts to Trump Transgender Bathroom Repeal

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UW-L Reacts to Trump Transgender Bathroom Repeal

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Karley Betzler, Sports Reporter

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On Wednesday Feb. 23, President Donald Trump’s administration repealed protections that allowed transgender students use the bathroom that corresponds with the gender they identify with.

According to White House Press Secretary, Sean Spicer, Trump has considered this a state issue for a while.

“Please know that the recent action by the Trump administration will not impact our campus because we are continually creating more gender-neutral bathrooms,” stated University of Wisconsin La Crosse Chancellor Joe Gow.

Former President Barack Obama’s administration declared the protections under Title IX, which states that no person can be discriminated against based on gender in school. If schools didn’t follow this policy, they risked losing funding.

This position held by Obama’s administration was rejected by Trump’s administration.

“This is just another one of those things that makes another challenge in the process of living a human, more fully authentic life,” explained Trevor Leeper, UW-L’s Pride Center Graduate Assistant.

“It’s a challenge for anybody who wants to come out or is in the process of coming out or is in the process of figuring out who they are as an individual. It’s that direct piece in saying that they aren’t supported in the sense of something as simple as a bathroom.”

Leeper said they hope that this repeal won’t affect UW-L very much. Leeper added, “From what I have seen, people have been pretty great. I mean we have all-gendered restrooms on campus, so that is a space I hope anyone can feel comfortable in.”

The U.S Department of Education and civil rights officials from the U.S Department of Justice stated the position held by Obama’s administration did not have to include transgender students being allowed to use the bathroom with which they identify.

In a letter, these Departments said Title IX did not require public schools to follow the Obama administration’s position.

“It seems like the administration has been very good at letting students know that they are valued, whether they are gender non-conforming, trans, nonbinary, whatever your identity is, it seems the administration has tried to make sure students feel valued and comfortable in that sense,” added Leeper.

Moving forward, Leeper and campus leaders called for other students to actively listen, be advocates for their peers and let them know that their experiences and identity are valid.

“Even just using someone’s pronouns and name correctly can be a huge impact on a student who just wants to be seen as their authentic selves,” iterated Leeper.

President Trump has yet to comment on the repeal. The U.S Supreme Court is slated to consider the case of 17-year-old transgender male student who was denied the use of the male restroom at his high-school in Virginia. Arguments in the case are scheduled for March 25.

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