It is by how we treat the most vulnerable of our citizens that inform all of us about our own liberties and freedoms in the United States today. And our LGBTQ+ youth have been attacked continuously at many intersections of their identities by this administration: Muslim, Black, Latinx, immigrant, female, Jewish, poor, and differently abled.
Trump's rescinding the guidance to treat transgender youth fairly is just his latest attack in a long line of attacks that have impacted the LGBTQ+ youth we serve at IYG. To be clear, Title IX is still law and Title IX is still in place to protect students from gender discrimination in school.
Yet, the President, Department of Education/Justice have chosen not to enforce these protections. Attorney General Jeff Sessions revoked guidance clarifying that Title IX's protections apply to trans students. Sessions - a longtime opponent of LGBT rights - has convinced President Trump to change his stance on allowing trans people to access restrooms that are consistent with the gender they live every day. Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos, did nothing to protect one of the most vulnerable groups of students within the education system.
We condemn the executive orders and actions this administration has taken already that targets this country's most vulnerable communities, and we condemn the rescinding of the Title IX guidance to schools that provides protection for transgender and gender nonconforming youth.
Transgender and gender nonconforming youth are one of the most vulnerable populations in our country. These youth deserve fair and equitable treatment in their schools.
Indiana LGBTQ youth, in grades K-12, do not feel safe in their schools. The 2015 GLSEN National School Climate Survey shows 77% of LGBTQ students in Indiana reported being verbally harassed. Indiana Youth Group condemns the aggressive, negative actions and words of the President that will only embolden bullies, be they legislators, principals, or parents, to perpetuate violent actions and words against others based on their race, religion, sexual/gender identity, or any other exploited and marginalized status.
Rescinding these guidelines puts trans and gender nonconforming youth at an even greater risk in their schools and communities because of the removal of protections and because of the license this provides for the perpetuation of anti-trans violence.
When youth are put at risk by the perpetuation of systemic discrimination in all its forms, they are limited in their ability to access an education, have greater health disparity, face a higher risk of incarceration, and are more likely to experience violence.
In this storm of hostility and hate, Indiana Youth Group will continue to combat the isolation, depression and uncertainty of the LGBTQ youth we serve through providing a drop-in center for youth to access support and services, serving families of LGBTQ youth, and providing education and training for educators. IYG calls on the community to co-create with us a world in which all parts of us are seen, valued, and one in which we all belong.
You can do your part to protect our LGBTQ youth by giving to IYG today indianayouthgroup.kindful.com/