Sarasota County Marches for Transgender Rights!


Hailey Schlotthauer, Staff Writer

Recently in downtown Sarasota, supporters of transgender rights marched to advocate for the rights of the transgender students at school. Local human rights groups Answer Coalition and All Power to the Imagination Conference came together with organizations and students from around Sarasota and beyond to demand that Sarasota County Schools acknowledge and protect the rights of transgender and gender nonconforming students.

It was the fifth event in the campaign, which began in January when Pine View student Nate Quinn challenged Pineview’s discriminatory bathroom policy and won. Now Quinn and fellow students are demanding safety, health and human rights for trans youth across the school district.

Nate Quinn, the catalyst for the movement, has a social media trend (#Nateslist) where he presents his list of all of policies that should be changed in order to protect the rights of transgenders–policy changes that are nothing new in Florida or anywhere else in the United States.

Some things on his list include changes in the dress code that would be more fitting for gender identity, anti-discrimination policies, and new locker room policies that would correspond with their gender identity.

Another request on the list — Sarasota County representation at Broward County School District’s LGBT conference — already has been met.

“We got one of those, and now we are here to get the rest,” Quinn told more than 100 people assembled at Five Points Park, where a march through downtown Sarasota began at about noon Sunday.

“Hopefully, the School Board will see what we are doing today, and all the support we have, and they’ll start making some changes.”

Their main slogans of Quinn’s campaign are “Safe & Equal Schools” and “Hate Has No Place in Our Education System.”

While Quinn has been sucessful locally, other students around the nation are not having the same amount of success.

The issue that’s getting the most press nationallhy is the North Carolina bathroom bill. The bill requires transgenders to use the bathroom that is on their birth certificate, not the one they identify with. This bill, understandably, caused an uprising.

When the federal government took on the bill, they told North Carolina governor Pat McRoy that he has until Monday to walk away from the bill, which justice department officials have already said violates civil rights. The bill is causing such problems that several federal agencies are deciding they will withhold funds from the state.

McRoy is backing up the bill by saying it is a law as preservation of privacy. James D. Esseks, who directs the Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender and HIV Project at the American Civil Liberties Union, hailed the move for that very reason.

“It’s important that North Carolina understand it can’t pass a discriminatory law,” he said in an interview.

“Also, it’s important that every other state understands that if it passes a similarly discriminatory law, it will pay a similar price.” On Monday, we will find out McRoy’s choice.

13138836_1109204709131194_3670929853070149317_nIf you are more interested about this, check out the movement:

(Want to know what is going on all around the country with regards to this movement? Check out the link below)

(Want to know what is going on in your own town with regards to this movement? Check out the facebook page below)