Success! California Transgender Students Gain Groundbreaking Rights

Excellent news for Care2 activists! On August 12, California became the first state in the nation to enact a law protecting transgender students, when Governor Jerry Brown signed Assembly Bill 1266 into law.

Thank you so much to the almost 6,000 Care2 members who signed our petition urging Governor Brown to end discrimination against transgender students in California schools.

This legislation also happens after 16-year-old Ashton Lee, from Manteca, California, brought his own petition with 6,000 signatures to Governor Brown’s desk.

As he stated to Newsy:

“I was placed in a class full of all girls for P.E., which doesn’t make any sense to me because I’m a boy. Every day going to that class was just a reminder to me that I’m all by myself.”

As a California high school teacher, I am thrilled that Governor Brown has signed this bill into law.

Assembly Bill 1266 guarantees transgender students access to interscholastic sports, gym classes, locker rooms and bathrooms based on their gender identity, irrespective of their biological sex.

Interscholastic athletic commissions in several states, including California, already have policies that allow students to compete on teams that correspond with their gender identities rather than the sex listed on their school records.

Specifically, according to the Transgender Legal Defense And Education Fund, 17 states, including Massachusetts, have policies granting some sort of legal protections for transgender people, as do several school districts around the country, including the Los Angeles Unified School District, but none of these policies are statutes.

This is the first state bill protecting the ability of transgender students to align themselves with the gender they identity with most.

The law, known as the School Success and Opportunity Act, was signed the day before the deadline for Brown to take action.

Brown’s action came on Trans Advocacy Day, when a number of transgender people and their allies were in Sacramento.

From The Bay Area Reporter:

“It’s very exciting,” bill author Assemblyman Tom Ammiano said in a brief phone call to the Bay Area Reporter. “I’m flabbergasted.”

Ammiano, a gay San Francisco Democrat, had released a statement early Monday asking the governor “to do the right thing.”

“While many California school children are already protected by policies in some of our biggest school districts, other districts don’t seem to understand that transgender students should have equal access to all programs and facilities,” stated Ammiano.

This is a powerful move by Governor Brown, and one that should decrease bullying and create a more welcoming environment for transgender students in California schools. The law goes into effect on January 1, 2014.

Kudos to Governor Brown for putting this legislation in place.

Photo Credit: National Clearing House on Families and Youth

53 comments

Sarah Hill
Sarah Hill2 years ago

I see a host of problems with this. Teen age boys to begin with. There is a huge potential for abuse. The student should have to produce some form of documentation before being allowed to use the opposite gender's locker/restroom. I see law suits in California due to this law.

Edgar Zuim
Edgar Zuim3 years ago

This is great.

GGma Sheila D.
GGmaSheila D.3 years ago

Kudos to the CA governor for doing what's right. Thank you.

Robert O.
Robert O.3 years ago

Great news. Thanks Judy.

Hannah Gaden Gilmartin
Hannah Gilmartin3 years ago

Great news!

Cynthia F.
Cyn F.3 years ago

Thanks for sharing the good news, Judy!

Lindsey O.
Lindsey O.3 years ago

I don't agree with allowing transgender individuals to play on the sports team that corresponds with their sexual preference.

No matter how much a female or male a person may feel, if you're biologically one or the other then that has an enormous and intrinsic impact on your physical abilities in sports. It simply isn't fair to expect girls and women to compete in most sports against competitors who are biologically boys and men - and who have intrinsically greater strength than females on average.

In my teen years I competed in tennis. And while I always expected that my female opponent would have to some degree a differing set of abilities than I had, I most assuredly wouldn't have expected her to have such an overwhelming advantage as male physical strength. Billie Jean King won because Bobby Riggs was much older and was long past his tennis prime. Had she faced him in his prime, I really doubt the result of the match would have been the same.

In singles, I'd play against any man for fun. But in competition, where the results actually matter, I wouldn't. Because the only way I could win against a man is if his skills were really inferior to mine. And competition is only satisfying when you're playing a worthy opponent.

Jade N.
Jade N.3 years ago

this is great! thanks

William Meade
William Meade3 years ago

When I was little (a long time ago)lots of
toilets were what is know called unisex
one toilet turn one way to go standing
up and other way for going setting down

pam w.
pam w.3 years ago

Mary C's comment represent genuine lack of understanding about transgender people.

Would you feel uncomfortable using a bathroom with a flat-chested girl?

How do you know what genitals someone has when they're inside a stall?

What makes you think that a transgender girl would have any interest in looking at YOU?

This girl is unhappy with her penis and wants to transition to female genitals. She certainly doesn't want to interact with YOU as a male.

Can't you show some compassion?