Securing Equal Access to Sex-Segregated Facilities for Transgender Students
Harper Jean Tobin
National Center for Transgender Equality
Western New England University School of Law
Wisconsin Journal of Law, Gender & Society, Vol. 28, p. 301, 2013
Western New England University School of Law Legal Studies Research Paper No. 14-7
If Title IX is to have any real meaning for transgender students, it must protect a student's ability to live and participate in school as a member of the gender with which they identify. This means that students must be permitted to use gender-segregated spaces, including restrooms and locker rooms, consistent with their gender identity, without restriction. Denial of equal access to facilities that correspond to a student's gender identity singles out and stigmatizes transgender students, inflicts humiliation and trauma, interferes with medical treatment, and empowers bullies. A student subjected to these conditions is, by definition, deprived of an equal opportunity to learn because of his or her transgender status, and therefore, because of his or her sex. Arguments against equal access reflect broader animus and stereotypes about transgender people, and rely on justifications that have been rejected by courts in related contexts. Access consistent with a student's gender identity is widely practiced, and is the only workable and nondiscriminatory approach that is consistent with Title IX's requirement of equal educational opportunity.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 31
Keywords: Title IX, sex discrimination, transgender students, gender-segregated spaces, equal accessAccepted Paper Series
Date posted: July 2, 2014
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