Originally I was just speechless by this story (via Zinnia Jones) about 16 year old Ashlyn Parram first being told she could not sit an exam unless she changed into boy’s clothing, and then being segregated from the rest of the students when she pointed out that the school was violating her rights. First was how offensive the situation was, but perhaps just as bad is the reporting of the story which refers to her using male pronouns throughout. I was so shocked and disgusted that all I could think was that there were no words…
And then I thought: No. Fuck that. There are plenty of words. They are, in order: Her, her, her, assigned male at birth, she, she, she, she, she, she, she, she, She, She, Her, she, she, trangender, She, she, gender reassignment surgery, Her, her, her, her, she, she.
To the educators: you are a failure. Not only have you failed to attend to the needs of a student in your care, but you have gone out of your way to inflict psychological distress on her right before requiring her to take a test that could affect her academic standing. You have failed as both a teacher, and as a human being. And if my saying so makes you feel like someone has called into question a fundamental element of your identity? Now go answer some questions about polynomials.
To Ashlyn, should you ever read this: Some people spend their entire lives questioning their identities. At 16, you’ve already shown that you have not only the courage to question something that many take for granted, but also the courage to express yourself in the face of bigotry. You are awesome: never loose that. And though this situation should never should have happened in the first place, It Gets Better.