Virginia Trans Students’ Rights Infringed Upon


By Anzor Mustafa, Staff Writer

In late September, Virginia Governor Glenn Younkin mandated students use restrooms, pronouns, and names based on their official school records. Additionally, only allowing people to play on teams in the gender they were assigned at birth. 

During his election, Younkin went against senator Terry McAuliffe in his second debate.  Youngkin stated that McAuliffe had vetoed legislation that would have required schools to inform parents about sexually explicit content in educational materials. McAuliffe said that he does not believe that parents should decide what schools teach. This was after parents wanted to ban Beloved by Toni Morrison for its discussion of race. So, Glenn Younkin ran his campaign on the idea of “parental rights.” Parents should have a say in what is being taught and discussed in schools.

“I don’t even know why we’re having this conversation,” said senior Emily Sawyer.

Youngkin has especially been harsh on transgender people. Despite this fact, he also signed executive orders to ban critical race theory and limit Covid-19 regulations. He said that these new restrictions are to “preserve parental rights.”

After hearing the news, Virginia students walk out of classes to protest. They were led by the Pride Liberation Project: a statewide LGBTQ youth advocacy group. Walkouts have been happening every Tuesday with an incredible turnout.

These new rules have no other intended effect either than further ostracizing LGBTQIA+ groups.

“My cousin is transgender and she uses the female bathroom because she is transitioning. This takes away from people’s identity because there should not be a person saying that their birth certificate defines them as who they are,” said senior Gabby Birkland.

Virginia is not the only state proposing/implementing anti-trans legislation. Iowa Governor signed a bill into law that banned trans girls and women from participating in high school and college sports. And Tennessee will become the first state in the United States to require businesses and government facilities open to the public to post if they let transgender people use multi-person bathrooms, locker rooms, or changing rooms associated with their gender identity.

Senior Irene Hwang said, “Doing this should be illegal. It does not matter what people identify as. And people shouldn’t care so much about other people.”

In November 2021, Wayne Hills stood its ground and kept LGBTQ+ books despite the parental backlash.

As trans rights curtail, many must express their democratic right to speak out against injustice.