Coachella Valley Region
With President Trump’s announcement that he would drop federal restroom guidelines for transgender students, the LGBT community in the Coachella Valley reacted by holding a demonstration in opposition to the executive order.
It seems simple, but for many transgender individuals it isn’t. Just going to the restroom can be a struggle."
"Many transgender students feel that they cannot eat throughout an entire day while being in school because they cannot use the restroom that they feel comfortable using. So it does put a strain on their educational path," said Paulina Angel, a transgender female and exectuvie director of Trans Community Project. "We know that if we end up using the restrooms that we were assigned at birth that we will be subject to being bullied, being beat up."
President Trump issued the executive order essentially putting the restroom guidelines for transgender students back into the hands of the states and local communities.
"It’s good that it goes back to the states and states rights and each state passes legislation to go ahead and take care of this problem," said Bob Richmond, former chairman of the Riverside Republican Party.
LGBT supporters say there could be serious consequences.
"Since President Obama declared that as being part of title nine protections, suicide rates for transgenders has dropped. And we’re unfortunately fearful that transgender suicides rates will go up and discrimination, when it returns, and if it’s legal, that could cause great problems for our community," said David Lahti, a volunteer with the Human Rights Campaign.
"Transgender students are going to start becoming depressed, they’re going to start becoming anxious with anxiety, they’ll go from dropping out of school to doing things that are not rational, to even ending with suicide," said Angel.
Some who support President Trump’s executive order say they are not against trans students using the restroom of their choice but feel the guideline decisions should be left to local lawmakers. Others say it’s a more personal issue.
"Men who think they are women should be in the men’s locker room if they have mens plumbing. Women who think they are men should be in the women’s locker room," said Richmond.