American values means remembering everyone is equal


Mia Thompson

It’s the middle of summer, and I’m sprawled across a chair in my living room, scrolling through my Twitter feed.

Most of my feed is full of people who are either queer or queer-friendly. But then some less friendly news pops up, unsurprisingly centered on our 45th president.

In his usual long-winded manner, Trump outlines in three separate tweets his decision to reinstate the ban against transgender members of the military. “Our military,” he writes, “cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail …”

I can’t understand why he wants the ban. Anyone who wants to serve in the military and is physically able should be allowed to. Anyone who wants to follow their dreams should be allowed to.

I can’t understand why America, or at least its leader, has embraced transphobia. We’re Americans, and that’s supposed to mean we believe in freedom for all. It’s supposed to mean we believe everyone is equal.

I can’t understand why everyone is so concerned with what other people do with their lives. If you don’t understand it, that’s OK. But let people be themselves.

But that concern doesn’t seem to be vanishing. Several states, including Texas, considered bathroom bills that prohibit trans individuals from using the restroom that corresponds to the gender they identify with. Some schools (not ours) have similar policies in place, including a Great Hearts Academy in Scottsdale, Ariz., which is currently facing a lawsuit over that decision. And more importantly, the trans community is often a target of hate, in person and online.

Even here, trans students are treated with ridicule. There are people in our school who still refuse to refer to those students using the pronouns that align with their gender identity. “He’s still really a she,” they’ll mock, or vice versa.

It’s infuriating to hear comments like that in our hallways, and I can only imagine how trans students feel when they have to hear it.

I can only imagine how they feel when they’re told they’re a “burden” or “going to Hell.”

I can only imagine what it feels like to have your identity questioned by others.

For those of us who can only imagine, let’s remember that it’s not our place to tell the trans community how to live their lives.

Even if the President thinks that’s OK.