While the gay rights movement has fought down the Defense of Marriage Act and Proposition 8, activist groups have focused primarily on self-identifying homosexuals and not gender-queer people. Now, with the passage of Assembly Bill 1266 in California and gender neutral housing at Boston University, transgender rights and activists are gaining momentum in a push towards equality and inclusion.
In January 2014, AB 1266 will allow transgender pupils to use facilities, like restrooms and locker rooms, to best fit their personal gender identity. It also allows gender-queer students to choose which sports teams they would like to join based on their gender preference.
According to Masen Davis, the executive director of Transgender Law Center, an advocacy group geared towards changing attitudes towards the transgender community, many parents he meets are Latinos in California concerned with the quality of their transgender children’ education. He says they have supported legislation to create an open, safe environment for their children to enjoy an equal opportunity.
“Other states have had similar protections through administrative processes,” Davis says. “Courts are increasingly weighing in on the issue in determining for students. Students in Vermont and Massachusetts currently are able to use facilities that match their gender identity as well. ”