One Equal World

California Legislation Advocates for Students, Instills Trans Acceptance

Posted on: August 23, 2013

girl playing football

The new legislation is the first of its kind and will help advocate for trans youth.
Image: Shutterstock

Earlier this month, California Governor Jerry Brown signed the School Success and Opportunity Act into law, a groundbreaking bill designed to ensure that transgender youth have equal opportunities in school. The examples of opportunities provided in the legislature are ones that many non-trans students often take for granted. Now, transgender students who want to participate in after-school programs, athletics, and other school-sanctioned activities are permitted to do so, by law.

According to LGBTQNation, “The law, which goes into effect on January 1, 2014, is the first of its kind in the country, and requires that California public schools respect students’ gender identity and makes sure that students can fully participate in all school activities, sports teams, programs, and facilities that match their gender identity.” Massachusetts and Connecticut have established similar protective laws for transgender youth, but the School Success and Opportunity Act is the first policy that has been put into legislative statute and required in every school district in the state.

The act establishes legislative rights for transgender youth, and is also representative of California’s efforts to create social change around areas that concern children who don’t identify within common gender binaries. Executive Director of the Transgender Law Center explains, “Now, every transgender student in California will be able to get up in the morning knowing that when they go to school as their authentic self they will have the same fair chance at success as their classmates.”

 California is certainly breaking ground as one of the first states to create legislature that seeks equal opportunities for its transgender youth; recognizing that transgender students need to be advocated for in the first place is a huge step forward for equal rights at large. 

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