Letters to the Editor

We have a responsibility to protect transgender kids from bad laws

This Thursday, May 12, 2016, file photo, shows a sign outside a restroom at 21c Museum Hotel in Durham, N.C.
This Thursday, May 12, 2016, file photo, shows a sign outside a restroom at 21c Museum Hotel in Durham, N.C. AP

As an adult, dealing with a transgender bathroom bill seems relatively straightforward. We know how to protest against Jim Crow-style laws; people braver and tougher than me have provided a model. As an autonomous, relatively healthy, stable adult, I can simply disobey laws that are unconstitutional. I dare anyone to try to stop me.

Children, on the other hand, constantly look to adults for cues on how to behave and on their own standing in the world. As Rhea Butcher recently described, a child can be truly harmed by the irresponsible words of an adult with low self-esteem. If these laws are passed, then, what can we do as responsible adults to protect them from that harm?

We have a responsibility to accompany our trans kids into their bathrooms, and to stand up for them regardless of what the law says. We need to send them the message that these laws, written by bigots far away, mean nothing in the face of what is and will always be right and true. We can teach them that getting in trouble isn’t the end of the world, but losing your freedom is.

Robin Foss, Atascadero

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