It was announced yesterday that Privacy for All Students, a conservative organization formed with the sole purpose of opposing the School Success and Opportunity Act, had turned in 620,000 signatures, significantly more than the 505,000 needed to put the law up for public referendum in 2014.
I am saddened by the possibility that a law that will undoubtedly save lives may be repealed as a result of irrational fear and misinformation. The methods used by Privacy for All Students, along with groups like the National Organization for Marriage and Pacific Justice Institute, were misleading at best, and intentionally deceptive and malicious at worst.
I've written extensively on this topic since the bill's passage, and I will continue to do so. Even if this bill makes it onto the ballot, there is still hope, but it will most certainly be an "all hands on deck" effort. We need the full resources of every LGBT organization in the country. We need all our self-proclaimed allies to start speaking up, calling out those who deal in falsehoods and half-truths. We need to educate the public.
I'm going to. From here on out, consider every post, every piece of writing of mine that gets published, a reminder that transgender people are humans. Consider every day of my existence, your existence, a chance to debunk the lies pushed by these organizations.
We have to do this for the kids. We have to make the world a better place for them, so that they may make the world a better world for the generation that succeeds them.
A starting point is this law. Given the chance to work, it can demonstrate that transgender people are no more a threat to other students than their cisgender counterparts. These cisgender students will then grow up with this knowledge, that their best friend or that kid from math class was trans. They will grow up more accepting of transgender individuals because they will have lived a life where being transgender, while still rare, is just another way kids are. Following this, these adults may have families of their own, raising a generation of children tolerant of those who are different.
I'm not giving up on these kids, and I hope you won't either. Share this post. Take my name off of it, for all I care, but please share it. The message is too important to ignore: Transgender children deserve a safe upbringing, a world that doesn't paint them as monsters.
I stand with the transgender children of California. I will not give up on you.