Beware the Gender Unicorn: Franklin Graham Takes Aim at the Transgender Community
This training was for teachers, not students, and it’s designed to keep kids safe, ensure that their rights are protected and that they’re treated with the respect they deserve.
Naturally, Religious Right groups in the state are going crazy. The North Carolina Values Coalition has urged supporters to flood the school system with an electronic letter stating that the policy violates North Carolina’s infamous “bathroom bill” and that it “jeopardizes the privacy, safety, and dignity of my child(ren). My child(ren) feel both anxious and disrespected faced with the reality that this new policy will force them to share intimate facilities with members of the opposite sex, threatening their well-being and peace of mind on a day-to-day basis.”
The school system has reiterated that its policies are meant to stop bullying. They apply to all students equally. As the school system noted in a statement, it is “committed to nurturing a safe and welcoming learning environment for every student.” Parents aren’t kept in the dark. They are consulted.
Officials took this step because they are aware that transgender students face real challenges. Their risk factor for suicide is high. They often don’t feel safe at school because they fear being bullied.
The men and women who run the Charlotte-Mecklenburg school system are doing the responsible thing by addressing these issues and making sure teachers and staff have the resources they need to help transgender students stay in school and succeed.
That’s their goal. What’s Graham’s? I suspect it’s the usual Religious Right thing – whip people into a frenzy, raise cash and promote far-right candidates for public office in a quest to “Christianize” America – according to Graham’s narrow definition of Christianity, of course. (Liberal Christians need not apply.)
To do this, Graham needs a new community to demonize. He and his pals lost the marriage equality case at the U.S. Supreme Court, but they didn’t let that slow them down. Almost immediately, they started attacking the transgender community.