What Does the Repeal of Transgender Student Protection Mean for UCO?
The Trump administration recently rescinded transgender bathroom rights implemented by former President Barack Obama. What does that mean from UCO?
The Obama administration put in place protection for transgendered students over the last two years that allowed students to use the bathroom of their gender identity. The Trump administration has revoked those federal guidelines.
— Trump Daily News (@TrumpDailyTweet) February 28, 2017
This means that individual school will have to set their own set of guidelines regarding transgender students. UCO already has a policy in place that allows transgender students to use the bathroom, locker room, or other facility of their choice.
Even though policies surrounding UCO will be the same as the revoked Obama directives, this still has an impact on the trans community across the country.
“Within the wider culture, it’s part of a public discourse that I think communicates very forcefully to trans people and to queer people more generally that they’re not welcome, they’re not included. I think that has a really damaging psychological effect,” said Dr. David Macey, the faculty sponsor for the Student Alliance for Equality (SAFE).
SAFE is a club on campus made up of LGBTQ+ students and supporters. They provide support for members of the community and hold many events, both fun and educational.
They recently had an event called “Trans 101” where Paula Sophia, a UCO graduate and trans activist, and Rhonda Telford Naidu, a local attorney that handles many cases that involve LGBTQ clients spoke. The event was open to trans and non-trans students and covered some of the more complex issues, like legal documents and name changes, that go along with being trans.
Donald Trump has expressed that this issue and others like it need to be settled at the state level instead of the federal one.
“I would wonder, if in the 1950s and 60s, if we had left the legislation about civil rights around race and ethnicity to the states where would we be now? Oklahoma might still be a legally segregated state, or at least it would have taken a lot longer,” said Dr. Macey, “We’re talking about basic constitutional civil rights. It’s abundantly clear to me that that is a national, a federal issue. We’re all in this together, we’re all United States citizens, we’re all talking about constitutional protections.”
SAFE will be holding another event on April 4th about trans activism and education that is open to everybody. It will be held on campus in the Pegasus Theater in the Liberal Arts building.
If you would like to keep up with other events that SAFE is hosting you can check out their Facebook page here https://www.facebook.com/groups/StudentAllianceForEquality/, or to learn more about the club you can look at their page on UCO’s website here http://sites.uco.edu/student-life/diversity/studentorganizations/safe.asp.
Here is some clarification on UCO’s current policy http://sites.uco.edu/central/title-ix/FAQ/faq-BGLTQIA.asp.