Transgender Bathroom Laws Affecting Transgender Teens


The Obama Administration is releasing a directive advising all US public schools to allow transgender teens to use the bathroom that corresponds to their gender identity. Though this is not a direct law per say, it holds the threat that public schools that do not comply will lose federal aid. This all comes as a result of the recent North Carolina law, known as HB2, which requires transgender individuals to use the bathroom that corresponds with the gender noted on their birth certificates.

transgender teens

Photo Credit: flickr user – torbakhopper

How does HB2 affect transgender teens?

Transgender teens attempt and commit suicide at an alarmingly higher rate than the majority of other groups. By the 20th birthday of a transgender individual, there is a 50 percent chance they have attempted suicide at least once. This is caused by many factors, including bullying and public perception. Over half of transgender individuals have experienced harassment in school, which HB2–if anything–is making worse.

A recent study actually linked availability of bathrooms on college campuses for transgender individuals to suicide. It found that a “denial of access to either space had a significant relationship to suicidality.”

Transgender teens already face a tsunami of discrimination, misunderstanding, and harassment on a daily basis and now North Carolina (along with other states following suit) wants to make that even worse. Imagine this: there’s a transgender girl who now has to use the boy’s bathroom because that is the gender on her birth certificate. How do you think boys are going to react to this transgender girl–who looks, acts, and speaks like a girl–using the bathroom with them? Because of the vast misunderstanding attached to transgender teens, that situation probably won’t end well. It’ll probably end up with the transgender girl having a lower self-esteem, possibly leading to depression, which could possibly lead to a suicide attempt.

Elevations RTC treats transgender teens

Elevations RTC is a residential treatment center for teens, ages 13 to 18, struggling with depression, anxiety, and other behavioral or emotional issues. Elevations treats teens of all gender identities.

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