Laverne Cox and transgender teen activist Gavin Grimm, who sued a Virginia school board over transgender student bathroom rights, are speaking out against the Trump administration’s decision to revoke federal protections for transgender students.
On Thursday’s The View, Cox, who called in, and Grimm appeared on The View to express their concerns about the administration’s recent actions, which they thought could increase the stigmatization of people who are transgender.
“The revoking of this order sends a message that our lives don’t matter, that we are second-class citizens and that we should be treated differently and stigmatized and shamed,” said Cox. “We should note that 77 percent of trans students experience harassment or bullying in schools and over 50 percent of trans youth commit suicide. Fifty percent attempt suicide because we live in a world that shames, stigmatizes, and criminalizes us.”
By rescinding the Obama administration’s guidelines — which Cox said sent the message that transgender peoples’ lives mattered — the Trump administration is leaving it up to the states to interpret anti-discrimination law when it comes to whether or not students can use bathrooms and locker rooms matching their gender identities. Both Grimm and Cox think this would make the lives of transgender people harder.
“Often when you leave decisions of civil rights up to states, it happens [that] for a very, very long time that people don’t have civil rights,” said Grimm.
“It is not a state’s right issue. It is a civil rights issue,” said Cox. “At the end of the day, we have to remember that bathroom access really is not about bathrooms.”
She continued, “I heard someone say earlier, ‘What if someone pretends to be trans so they can have access to a girl’s bathroom?’ That doesn’t happen. In the hundreds of the cities all over the country where we had public accommodation protections for trans people, no one poses as trans so they can have access to a women’s bathroom so they could assault women. That doesn’t happen. And our opponents know that. They’re trying to make sure that these bathroom laws are about whether trans people have the right to exist in public space.”
Watch the entire video above.
Gavin’s case against the Gloucester County School Board is heading to the Supreme Court in March. Last week, Cox helped shine a light on it when she asked everyone to Google Grimm’s name before she introduced Metallica and Lady Gaga’s performance at the Grammys. Last Saturday, Cox and Grimm met in person for the first time, which Cox shared on Instagram.
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