Dr. Seuss once said, “a person’s a person, no matter how small,” and I think that right now this world needs those words more than ever.

I live in Canada, and I come from a place of great privilege. I am lucky in so many ways, but I have also experienced a lot of things in my life time. Since the U.S got their new president, I feel as though I have been bombarded with hateful messages and they have all been hard to hear. However the most recent piece of news has hit me harder than the others.

For those of you who do not know, the Trump administration has reversed President Obama’s federal guidance that directed schools to allow transgender students to use the bathroom that aligned with their gender identity.

Now, some adults don’t seem to  feel the same way as young people do about this, and let me give you my opinion on this.

It’s been a while since adults have been in high school, I graduated five years ago; so let’s agree that my high school memories are fresher in my mind than an adult’s.

High school in the modern age is a scary place; and I didn’t even have it that bad. I have memories of eating lunch alone in the bathroom on many occasions. I have memories of seeing my friends laugh and snicker at other students. I have memories of hearing my peers making jokes at the expense of other students.

I remember hearing of people my age who took their own lives
due to bullying at school.

That was five years ago. In the time between then and now, the world has kept changing. I read an article a couple days ago from an American publication and it explained that since gay marriage was legalized in the U.S the number of youth suicides had significantly decreased; which is amazing. However I fear now that with the reversal of this directive that this could be undone.

Students go to school knowing that kids can be mean. They go to school sometimes expecting to be bullied.

However what these students also expect, is that there will be adults who can help protect them.

Imagine how trans kids feel now. How can they expect their teachers and administrative staff to protect them when their government is not? These kids mean no harm. They simply want to feel accepted and respected.

When I was in high school, I remember feeling as though people looked at me differently because of my mental health; something I could not change. Due to this, I have long since felt a huge amount of solidarity with the LGBTQ community. It is simply not right to discriminate against a group of people for something they cannot change.

I am truly sickened by the news of what my neighbouring country’s government has done to transgender youth. I hope that these children will be protected and will one day feel safe at school.

This is not a transgender rights issue; it is a human rights issue.


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