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Transgender talk

Rebeka Dickerson, Reporter

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Transgender issues have been around for awhile now, but there are still many unanswered questions about what is going to happen in the future. Transgender sophomore Hayden Williams shared her thoughts about everything that has been going on  in the news lately with transgenders.

“It’s not good. It makes me feel very bad, not only about myself but about where other people who are transgender might be, what they’re going through also,” said Williams.

The bathroom issue has been a controversial topic lately, especially since President Trump took action to reverse the federal protections in public schools, that let transgender students use the bathroom they identify with. There are specific bathrooms that transgender students are able to use if they like.

“Personally at school I do not use either of the gendered bathrooms. I go to the nurse’s office, because it’s what I’m more comfortable with, but I know many people would feel much better if they could use the restroom that they assign with, so I don’t agree with what Trump is doing because it feels the opposite of progressive,” said Williams.

Many people who are transgender have trouble with coming out, and may not even come out until they are an adult. However, Williams decided it was time to come out in middle school.

“I came out to close friends and family in the eighth grade, but I probably knew a couple years before that or I was at least questioning it, maybe the sixth grade,” said Williams.

Often someone who is transgender will first tell the people who they are closest to, which is what Williams did.

“My best friend at the time and my parents were the first three people I told, and I slowly ebbed out to other friends and other family members, before coming out to everybody,” said Williams.

One of the public figures that Williams looks up to who  is transgender, is Laverne Cox. Williams sees how she is happy with herself and that she loves herself. A few years ago there may not have been as many people for Williams to look up to, but as time goes on more and more people are coming out.

“I think recently, like the last 10 or 20 years it’s been a lot more like yeah these people are here and we’re doing something about it. I feel like they’ve been here for forever but recently it’s just been more open,” said Williams.

Senior student Justice Jones believes that transgenders should be allowed to go into whatever bathroom they identify with, but she does understand where people are coming from who do not agree with that.

“I believe transgenders will start to become more acceptable, however it is going to take more time since people are more weirded out about people going to a different gender versus people who like the same sex,” said Jones.

Senior Tori Ledbetter had an idea of what could happen to improve on these transgender issues.

“Maybe start educating people younger before their opinions have been shaped by others so they can form their own opinion,” said Ledbetter.

With all this talk about transgender issues, it can be really easy for people to assume they know what transgender people are like or how they feel. Williams explained the one thing she thinks people do not know about being a transgender individual.

“I really think a lot of people think you accept yourself and love yourself after you’ve come out, like that coming out is all you need to love yourself, which isn’t true. It’s hard, it’s really hard,” said Williams.

Counselor Cheryl Gray works with high school students every day, and she had some insight into what a transgender student could struggle with at school.

“I think a transgender student must deal with many emotions, but the feeling of not belonging may be the most difficult for some,” said Gray.

Overall, transgender issues are not something that is going to go away anytime soon. It is a huge topic as of lately, and one that people are and will continue to be passionate about, whichever side they are on.

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