education

Boulder mom steps up for her kids

Kai Mackenzie has two children. Both were assigned male at birth...but that didn't take.

As a parent, Kai McKenzie admits it took years to understand what it meant to raise a transgender child. Kai’s oldest, Elsa, was assigned male at birth but began rejecting that identity at just two years old.

When I told her she was a boy she just screamed, ’No!’” Kai said. “I still didn’t get it.

--Kai

From age two until age 8, Kai's oldest child would draw pictures of herself as a girl...and chose to dress as a girl when she could.

Kai says Elsa eventually refused to go to the bathroom and, at 8 years old, began showing signs of physical sickness when gender conversations came up.

She started increasingly just breaking down any time anyone called her a boy. I mean, just collapsing and sobbing. She came to me and said, ‘If I’m a boy, why is there no one like me? There must be something wrong with me. I wish I didn’t exist.’ And those words. Those words are a wake-up call to any parent.

--Kai

So last year the Mackenzie family embraced Elsa as a girl.

But there was also Sky.

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Transgender protections pass at FCPS as hate erupts

 photo Hasselbeck_transphobic_zpsm3opwkmc.jpgAfter days of rightwing rabble rousing, the rabble showed up at a business meeting of the Fairfax Public School board on Thursday held at Luther Jackson Middle School in Falls Church. FCPS is the largest school district in Virginia and tenth largest in the country.

Here's some discussion from a meeting in April:

 

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Suicide High School

Really, things had been going pretty well.

Smith College opens its doors to transgender women.

A Utah school selected a transgender prom queen

The New York Times started their Transgender Project

OSHA partners with NCTE re: transgender worker safety

Even Hillary Clinton makes transgender immigrants a campaign issue

I don’t think we should, you know, put children and vulnerable people into big detention facilities because I think they are at risk. I think their physical and mental health are at risk. 

--Clinton

 photo Mafia Boss_zpslvafhzmc.jpgIt couldn't last, I guess.

Cameron Langrell was 15 and attending Horlick High School in Racine, WI when she posted to facebook his coming out as transgender. She also wrote that he was dating a boy. And she changed her profile gender to female.

A few days later Cameron was dead.

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Smith Trustees: Transgender women are women

 photo Smith-College-1304BDE8_zpsbuerja9a.jpgThe Smith College board of trustees has voted to accept that transgender women are women.

The shift to a self-identification admissions policy at the women’s college in Northampton goes into effect for students submitting applications this fall. The decision was revealed Saturday afternoon in a message to students, faculty, staff, parents, and alumnae.

Under the new admissions policy, applicants who were born male but identify as women are eligible for admission. Applicants must select “female” on the Common Application to be considered.

From the civil rights perspective, we’re saying trans women are women. What we’re doing here is really affirming that we’re a women’s college and we have an unwavering mission and identity as a women’s college.

--Smith College President Kathleen McCartney

Our clarified admission policy reflects a women's college that is steadfast in its founding mission yet evolving to reflect a changing world.

--Smith announcement

The move follows the leads of Mills College in California, and Wellesley, Mount Holyoke and Simmons Colleges in Massachusetts and Bryn Mawr in Pennsylvania.

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School Days

The Sodus, NY Central School District has decided to honor a request by a transgender student to use the girl's bathroom and locker room.

After a series of adults spoke against a transgender girl sharing facilities with their children, Jennifer Surridge stood up to speak. A hush fell over the proceedings.

 

 

 

 

My daughter has a civil right to be in the bathroom that she gender identifies with. And your children have the same right to be in the bathroom that they gender identify with. If they choose to leave that's a choice- my daughter is not choosing. She just is.

For years, since she was 3 or 4, she has told me she was a girl and I wasn't excepting. I didn't understand and agree with any of it because I didn't get it.

--Jennifer Surridge

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"Othering" the trans kids in Nevada

The Nevada Assembly Judiciary Committee went out of their way to resurrect and pass a bill which had been idle in the Education Committee for a month.

Disgraced former Speaker Elect Ira Hansen is Chair of the Judiciary Committee, which is dominated by conservative Republicans.

Hansen stepped down as incoming speaker last November after his history of racist and sexist writings was revealed.

Assembly Bill 375 will now go on to the full Assembly after passing on a party-line vote.

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OK. Do let us think about the children

Everyone knows the right wing oratory. When it comes time to adress LGBT...especially T, rights, the religious conservatives are all, "Think about thew children!"

I do. All the f'ing time!

Let's think about some of the children whose stories I have recently run across, shall we?

Let's think about Tom Sosnik.

 

 

For a while, I dismissed the fact that I hated my body. I pretended to be content with what I was assigned until, at a certain point, I broke.

I went through a series of horrible breakdowns. And I would stand under the water in the shower crying. I knew I wasn't happy.

I am no longer Mia. I never really was. And now I finally stand before you in my true and authentic gender identity as Tom. I stand before you as a thirteen-year-old boy.

I really hope that you all will support my decision to embark on a harder route in life as the boy I truly am. Any form of support I receive with much gratitude and I hope that everyone can really support me because you guys are like my second family. And if you support me, I'll feel like the luckiest boy in the world. Thank you for letting me share my story.

In my heart, I am still the same person. Whether you like that person or not, it’s me.

--Tom

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On Whimsy

Being Different photo bdif.jpgApparently this was written when I wasn't having a particularly good day. Somebody posted something and I felt like it needed a response. And thinking about it, I felt maybe it might be a teaching moment, so a comment became a diary.

Such things rarely have proved to be overtly beneficial.

The graphic to the left is entitled Being Different. The cell being attacked by antibodies theme reflects how transpeople often feel in this society.

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Character Development

with Alicyn, 1993 photo wAlicyn.jpgAutobiography should not be only about the things to happened to me. If that was all it was, I would appear to be devoid of agency. It's also not only about the places I've been and events I have witnessed. That might rather be a travelogue. I believe my autobiography should reveal who I am...or have been...maybe even who I will be or might have been.

So I was looking for some essays I will be sharing in the next few days concerning Crises 1 and 2, when I stumbled upon something I wrote in April of 2006 and published to the 21st issue of Teacher's Lounge, which some may recall that I created and operated in the way back. It was a bit of a rant...and a bit of me.

An educated mind is an opened mind. An opened mind is a liberal mind. Teachers don't have to intend to create liberals, it happens naturally.

I am totally aware that the subject matter may chase away some of my readers. But any subject matter contains the seeds of that possibility.

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Gender Prison: Women's colleges move toward opening doors to trans women

Trustees at Barnard have been considering whether or not trans women are women as far as their admissions policy goes.

The time has come for us to examine how we, as a women’s college, define ‘women,’ and how, consequently, we both admit and graduate students.

--Debora L. Spar, Barnard president

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