Windy City Media Group Frontpage News

THE VOICE OF CHICAGO'S GAY, LESBIAN, BI, TRANS AND QUEER COMMUNITY SINCE 1985

home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2022-03-16
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
Donate

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

Support for trans students starts with their names
by Vincent Cefali
2019-05-08

This article shared 7480 times since Wed May 8, 2019
facebook twitter google +1 reddit email


This fall, my former student Stefan came back to visit me. I was excited to hear about the beginning of high school, but he looked incredibly distressed. "How is freshman year going?" I asked, hoping to hear that he was coming into his own. Visibly upset, Stefan said, "Oh, it's alright, but my teachers keep calling me Stephanie. It's even on my ID." Now I could see what the problem was.

As a student in our middle school, Stefan received a range of supports to make him feel safe. For example, we had a specific plan that acknowledged his gender, pronouns, and preferred name. This was all done with the help of administration, social work, teachers and his parents. We want to ensure the safety and security of students whose biological sex does not match their gender identity and so we provide these supports to all our transgender students. The high school that Stefan now attends does not provide this same type of support.

Providing an inclusive environment for all students is incredibly important. In its 2017 National School Climate Survey, the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network found that "42.1% of transgender and gender nonconforming students had been prevented from using their preferred name or pronoun." Something as simple as a student's name is not a guarantee. Can you imagine the negative impact on learning for students like Stefan when he is a reminded daily that who he is and how he sees himself does not matter enough?

We need to provide comprehensive protection for trans students in the state of Illinois. We need to give guidance and demand compliance for districts so that very student feels connected and valued at the school they attend. For trans students, it starts with their names. As we continue to see violence towards trans women and men grow, it is important to validate and support our trans students here first, in their school experience.

What does such guidance and compliance look like? Our school district uses gender support plans from the organization Gender Spectrum. They provide specific criteria for the student to identify areas of need to make the school day safer and more inclusive. The plan asks students to make choices about preferred name, preferred pronouns, and use of restroom and locker room facilities. Once these have been outlined based on the student's needs, all staff connected to the student's schedule is made aware of them. Everyone is brought onboard to help make sure the student is successful.

The success of a gender support plan is only possible if there are resources available. Social workers, teachers, and school administrators should be equipped with the knowledge to help students begin the process to create a gender support plan and advocate for any student who might need one. The plans are one step in the process. Right here in my home state, Illinois House Bill 246 ( HB246 ) would require the teaching of LGBTQ history in our state's schools. If we are going to recognize the contributions of LGBTQ people in our history classes through HB246, we should also support those same students in our classrooms today.

As a teacher, I want nothing more than to allow every student to thrive and flourish in my classroom and beyond. It is one of the joys of teaching students like Stefan, who shine through as beacons of self-confidence and acceptance. Every student wants to feel valued by their teachers. Comprehensive supports like the gender support plans for trans students in Illinois will do just that. Teachers and administrators around the state will be equipped with the research, knowledge and tools to make trans students feel welcome. After all, schools should be set up as a place for all students to thrive and to succeed.

Vincent Cefali teaches choral and general music at Lincoln Middle School in Berwyn, Illinois, and is a 2018-19 Teach Plus Illinois Teaching Policy Fellow.


This article shared 7480 times since Wed May 8, 2019
facebook twitter google +1 reddit email

  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

Okla. governor signs anti-trans, strict abortion measures
2022-05-27
Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt has recently signed a couple controversial measures into law. According to ABC News, Stitt has signed a bill requiring public school students to use only the bathroom of the sex listed on ...


Gay News

State Farm drops GenderCool Project; Illinois General Assembly LGBTQ Caucus, Equality Illinois respond
2022-05-26
This week in response to an outcry from a hateful few, Illinois-based insurer State Farm dropped their support for The GenderCool Project, which provides LGBTQ-affirming books to schools across the country on a voluntary basis. We ...


Gay News

Brave Space Alliance purchases South Side building in expansion move
2022-05-26
In its ongoing efforts to provide safe spaces for transgender and gender non-confirming BIPOC, Brave Space Alliance (BSA) closed on a 7,000-square-foot building on 71st Street and Jeffrey Avenue, in the South Shore community, to expand ...


Gay News

Artist Rick Sindt explores queer desire and pornography in 'Skin Remembers'
2022-05-25
Rick Sindt, a Chicago-based artist who recently moved to St. Louis, explores the discovery and development of queer attraction in his exhibit "Skin Remembers." Sindt transforms pornographic stills, repurposing them into images of intimacy. Sindt recently ...


Gay News

Indiana institutes anti-trans sports ban, overrides Holcomb's veto
2022-05-25
The Indiana General Assembly overturned Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb's veto of House Bill 1041, which prohibits transgender girls from playing girls school sports, according to the IndyStar. The House voted to override the veto 67-28; the ...


Gay News

Ricky Gervais courts controversy with graphic anti-trans jokes
2022-05-24
(WARNING: There is graphic language in this article.) Yet another Netflix special is courting controversy because of a comedian making anti-trans jokes. Ricky Gervais' Netflix comedy special SuperNature has drawn criticism for a string of grap ...


Gay News

VIEWS Another 'Handmaid's Tale,' or sex and the supreme Catholics
2022-05-24
Amy Vivian Coney Barrett was confirmed as an associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court by the U.S. Senate on Oct. 26, 2020. Barrett is only the fifth woman ever to serve on the Court. She is also the sixth Catholic ...


Gay News

'LGBTQ Rights on the Line: The Role of Communicators Advocating for Equality' event preview
2022-05-22
-- From a press release - Celebrating, honoring and acknowledging Pride Month is more important this year than ever (and it should be celebrated all year, not just during one month). The expected Supreme Court ruling that will undermine the right to ...


Gay News

WORLD Nigeria protest, 'Flag in the Map,' Belgium, McDonald's
2022-05-22
Dressed in rainbow-colored vests, members of the LGBTQ+ community marched in a dangerous demonstration in Nigeria's capital, Abuja, to protest a bill introduced by lawmakers in Nigeria's lower house of parliament last month seeking to ban ...


Gay News

Comedian criticized for letting Chappelle open and tell anti-trans jokes [UPDATE]
2022-05-22
Comedian John Mulaney surprised his audience—and drew criticism from some fans—when Dave Chappelle appeared as the opener and reportedly told "transphobic jokes," per Variety. Chappelle's opening set occurred during a ...


Gay News

For International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, Biphobia HRC highlights grants
2022-05-17
-- From a press release - WASHINGTON — Today, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) civil rights organization, is commemorating International Day Against ...


Gay News

Judge blocks part of Alabama law criminalizing care for trans youth
2022-05-14
On May 13, U.S. District Judge Liles Burke blocked part of an Alabama law that made it a felony to prescribe gender-affirming puberty blockers and hormones to transgender minors, USA Today reported. ...


Gay News

Texas court okays child-abuse inquries into families of trans kids
2022-05-13
On May 13, the Texas Supreme Court unanimously cleared the way for the state child-welfare agency to resume investigating parents and doctors who provide gender-affirming care for trans youth—actions Gov. Greg Abbott has equated to child ...


Gay News

Judge: Dallas hospital must start gender-affirming treatment for trans youth
2022-05-12
In Texas, Dallas County Judge Melissa Bellan temporarily removed all barriers for transgender youth seeking medical treatments from Children's Medical Center Dallas—providing a major win for doctors fighting to restore ...


Gay News

HRC calls for passage of the Women's Health Protection Act
2022-05-11
-- From a press release - WASHINGTON - Today, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) civil rights organization, joined a growing number of organizations calling for the ...


 



Copyright © 2022 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 
 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS







Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor


 



Donate


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam     
Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.