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Immediately after his inauguration, President Biden signed an executive order allowing transgender people to join the military and said Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, a federal civil rights law, prevents discrimination based on sex and gender identity. Republican lawmakers lashed out in retaliation by introducing bills that would inhibit transgender people from becoming student-athletes and possibly authorize doctors to check students before engaging in sports.
Then, on January 30th, 2021, a TikTok went viral for “informing” the public that “schools are trying to make a law that teachers can see girls’ private parts to make sure they’re not trans.” While the content of the video is concerning and only marginally accurate, the viral TikTok does shed light on an important issue.
To bring an objective viewpoint to this situation, it is vital to understand that fake news is abundant on TikTok. Declaring that the schools were trying to establish a law that would allow for them to check if one was transgender is untrue. While the anti-transgender bill does open the possibility for a required examination done by a doctor before a student can join a sport, it does not state that it would allow for teachers to do the physical examinations themselves for the sole purpose of finding out if the student is transgender. Furthermore, it must be known that it is not the schools that are trying to establish this but specific lawmakers, state legislatures, and Congress.
This video brings up an important conversation on how anti-transgender bills are not to be taken lightly and are a pressing issue for society. The bill in question would prevent transgender students from joining sports teams that do not match their sex assigned at birth. The blatant discrimination devastates the transgender community and incites further mental harm for transgender people. Introducing an anti-transgender bill only further builds the prejudice against transgender people and manifests a society that is unwilling to acknowledge them.
The mental strength it takes for a person to identify as transgender and finally express themselves in the face of a largely negative and hostile environment is astronomical. Introducing anti-transgender bills not only sets back society but also immensely increases stress and concern. With mental illnesses on the rise, bills with such harmful impacts would only further worsen the situation. So even though a physical examination is done by a doctor, the examination itself is dehumanizing, humiliating, and immensely intrusive.
The TikTok provides vital information of what is occurring and insight; however, it does not accurately explain the whole situation. But the main idea is clear, the anti-transgender bills that are being introduced in retaliation to President Biden’s executive order are appalling and exceedingly detrimental to the transgender community. We need to be more vocal about this vital conversation to make society more inclusive for everyone.