To the Editor:
This past week was Transgender Awareness Week which lead up to November 20th, the Transgender Day of Remembrance. Transgender individuals are four times more likely than cisgender individuals to be victims of violent crimes including domestic abuse.
We also know that transgender individuals are victims of crimes at a higher rate than other members of the LGBTQ+ community, and that LGBTQ+ community members face hardships at higher rates than non-LGBTQ+ individuals. The Transgender Day of Remembrance is to remember all of those we have lost to heinous crimes and assaults over the years. From Monday through Friday of this past week, the transgender flag flew proudly on the Town Hall flagpole.
The town continues to await the Board of Education majority’s response to the Transgender and Gender Non-Conforming Youth Policy that after a year of discussion was voted down with no discussion – and still to date has had no further discussion. The Board also refuses to act on a sorely needed Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee policy that has been stagnant in the Policy Committee for 17 months. The silence from the Board of this issue is truly deafening. All of our students, no matter their orientation or gender identity, deserve to feel safe and treated equally at all times, yet our Board remains silent.
From the late 90s to the 2015 Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage across the country, public opinion shifted drastically in favor of same-sex marriage. Unfortunately, the historical changes on same-sex marriage do not translate to transgender individuals who now face attacks in Congress and statehouses as well as in schools and in public. We, as a country, will one day look back on this era where transgender students and adults were ridiculed, and at times, in certain states, are barred by law for attempting to live their most authentic lives. We will be dismayed at the show of animosity we had towards this group just as we now look back at the early 2000s debates around same-sex marriage in shock and disgust.
Hopefully, the day when a transgender or non-binary individual can just be themselves is not too far off. But, until then, we continue to fly the flag to represent the community. And, most importantly, we continue to fight for policies in towns, states, and in the country that treat all of us equitably.
All respectful comments with the commenter’s first and last name are welcome.