Transgender Hero #5: Ashton Lee

Manteca High School junior Ashton Lee hand-delivered petitions. with nearly 6000 names to Governor Brown, urging him to sign AB 1266, which would give transgender students equal access to school programs and facilities.

Lee is a young transman. He testified in Sacramento during the legisiative hearings on the bill. Manteca High School has 5 openly transgender students.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

California law already prohibits discrimination in education, but transgender students are still unfairly excluded from physical education, athletic teams, and other school activities and facilities.  This exclusion negatively impacts students' ability to succeed in school and graduate with their class.

--Melissa Goodman, an attorney with the ACLU of California

I would get to be a regular guy at school. I wouldn't have to be set apart from everyone else -- the one that has special standards and has to use special bathrooms in the nurse's office.

--Ashton Lee

The bill would allow transgender students to choose which bathrooms and locker rooms to use…and which sports teams to try out for…based on the gender they identify with.

it would remove a lot of the barriers toward (physical education) and other activities where he has struggled in the past due to his current status.

--Catherine Lee, Ashton's mother

I was placed in a class, a P.E. class full of all girls, and you know that doesn’t make sense, because I’m a boy and everyday going to that class made me feel like I was so completely alone in the world. It was devastating and I couldn’t focus on my other classes because there was this dark cloud hanging over me and it was so difficult everyday.

--Ashton Lee

I think a lot of what he does is driven to make it better for himself and also for others, so I’m really proud of what’s he’s doing around this.

--Catherine Lee

Parents across the state are concerned about the fact their kids are going to be in situations where they are going to be sharing bathrooms and lockers and showers with kids of the opposite biological sex.

--Matthew McReynolds, Pacific Justice Institute

The bill has not yet been delivered to the governor's office. Gov. Brown's staff have given no indication on how he will act.

I’m really hopeful that this is going to work and I’ve got faith in this.

--Ashton

Will transgender students make some other children uncomfortable? Perhaps. I don't want to minimize that, but new experiences are often uncomfortable. That can't be an excuse for prejudice.

--Bill sponsor Tom Ammiano

San Francisco and Los Angeles already allow the provisions of AB 1266.

You can read more about Ashton here.

You can add your support here.

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