Last week, the US supreme court announced it will hear the transgender bathroom rights case, GG v Gloucester County School Board. Gavin Grimm, a trans senior at Gloucester high school in Virginia, is fighting for his right to use the boys bathroom at school, and the school district is appealing to the highest court in the country to keep him out.
Related: US supreme court to rule if transgender teen can use boys' bathroom
A ruling is unlikely before Gavins graduation, and he will continue to face crippling discrimination every day of what should be his celebratory senior year.
But the impending ruling has effects beyond Gavin. Parents of transgender children across the nation are holding our collective breath, because our childrens safety and dignity are at stake, too.
The Scotus announcement lands amid continued outrage surrounding North Carolinas now infamous HB2 law, prohibiting transgender people from accessing the facilities appropriate to their gender identity all in the name of protecting women and children.
Lets talk about privacy, since those who oppose transgender bathroom rights are so fixated on its protection. As middle school girls, many of us were so insecure about our bodies that we were mortified by the idea of changing openly. Personally, I dont remember looking at anyones bodies. Singling out our transgender daughters as a threat to the other girls privacy simply based on their genitalia is sexualizing them, plain and simple.
Every bathroom controversy is a direct hit to our children. In particular, the argument against transgender rights in the name of protecting female spaces is as the mothers of transgender daughters what threatens our hard-fought progress combating dangerous anti-trans legislation. It also undermines our even harder-fought progress teaching our girls, transgender and cisgender alike, that they are valued members of society, and legitimate shades of womanhood.
We all want to safeguard our children, and some of us have cisgender (that is, not transgender) daughters and sons as well as transgender children. But when it comes to our daughters safety, we, the mothers and co-signers of this piece, are far more wary of men emboldened by a generalized epidemic of misogyny and permissive rape culture than we are of the transgender women who are just trying to live an authentic life with dignity.
Transgender women themselves particularly trans women of color are marginalized and singled out as victims of brutal violence at a staggering rate. In 2016 to date, 23 transgender women were murdered in the United States, nearly all women of color, most of them black. There is no question that transphobia coupled with racism is a lethal combination.
Several of us have transgender daughters who are brown, black or biracial. The clear and present danger for these girls as they develop into young trans women is chilling. As long as we perpetuate the unsubstantiated threat of trans people in intimate spaces, our vulnerable trans youth will continue to be viewed as the monsters under the bed.
My own daughters are young enough to bathe together. They are sisters. I imagine in the locker room, all of our trans girls will view their friends as most girls do: like sisters, genitalia aside. Some radical feminist groups would say that our trans daughters membership to the sacred sisterhood is empirically denied, simply because of their anatomy. They are effectively reducing women to our genitalia. That sounds more like a Trumped-up brand of feminism than the real thing, if you ask me.
Fringe groups may play the heavyweights, funding anti-LGBTQ legislation across the country, but their special breed of transphobic evangelism must not be representative of who we are as a nation. Transgender activist and actress Laverne Cox of Orange Is the New Black famously said that loving transgender people is a radical act. In America, countless thousands of families across religions, races and political views are engaging in that very radical act of loving and advocating for our transgender children every day.
Gavin Grimm is a young man, regardless of what is between his legs. Our daughters are girls, regardless of what is between theirs. Like Gavin like all trans people our children are merely fighting to use the bathroom they feel is the safest, and most appropriate, without fear or shame.
The following parents of transgender girls, aged 5-16, from 13 different states, co-sign this piece: Chelsa Morrison, Amy Adams, Karen Dolan, Michelle Honda-Phillips, Jeanette Jennings, Vanessa Ford, Nancy Dawson, Debi Jackson, Zoila Fajardo, DeShanna Neal, Rachel Gonzales, Sandra Collins, Ashley Nurkin, Jamie Bruesehoff and Hannah Edwards