The Coming Storm: 'Controversial' Transgender Stories

10/04/2013 09:40 pm ET | Updated Feb 02, 2016

In the coming year, as A.B. 1266 goes into effect in California, be prepared to read a lot of stories like this: "Local Transgender Student Provokes Mixed Reactions." Leanne Suter of KABC-TV Los Angeles writes about the "controversy" surrounding news that a transgender elementary school student in Glendale, Calif., would begin attending school presenting as a girl. The story goes on to talk about how one parent, Rochelle Mazel, opted to keep her kids home from school on Monday, "afraid the situation at school could be too chaotic or confusing for her children." She later states that she wishes the school had provided a psychologist for the benefit of the other students. Another parent, Natalia Selway, is quoted as saying, "[I]t would be a lot of questions that would be hard to answer, and I would prefer not to deal with this."

These parents don't seem to realize that the reason that children go to school is to gain an education. "Too confusing" and "hard to answer"? Maybe. But Selway's quotation, "I would prefer not to deal with this," is a summation of the attitudes of the ignorant. A core component of being a parent is the ability to answer the tough questions, to enlighten your children instead of leaving them in the dark, but Selway and Mazel are choosing to shield their children from developing a healthy worldview, condemning them to remaining just as much in the dark as their parents are. I feel sorry for these children.

Of course, other parents voiced their concerns over which bathroom the transgender student would be using. It always comes back to the bathroom somehow, doesn't it?

This is a prime example of why legislation like California's A.B. 1266 is so important. It takes so much bravery on the part of this young trans student to do what she's doing. We need steps in place to prevent parents of cisgender children from throwing trans students under the bus, and from trying to change school policy through pulling their own students from the classroom.

Obviously, the goal of such pseudo-protests is to gin up faux damage allegations, claiming that the only way to protect their own children would be to pull them from school, denying them an education. In the minds of these parents, it's not their own fault for pulling their child from school; it's the fault of transgender student.

I have to ask: If we were in the times of Brown v. Board of Education, would these parents keep their kids home fearing that it might be "too confusing" to explain that some people have different skin colors? Would these parents pull their students out of an advanced mathematics class for fear of the information being "too confusing"? Would these parents homeschool their kids for fear of them finding out that the Earth revolves around the Sun?

News media, stop bowing to closed-minded people like Natalia Selway and Rochelle Mazel. Stop treating the existence of transgender people as a "controversy." There is nothing controversial about transgender individuals. There are not "two sides to every story" in regard to our existence. We exist. We're people. Stop treating us as a debate topic and start treating us like humans.