Aurora’s Light

This site is dedicated to promoting positive transgender experiences.  What happened in Aurora, Illinois tonight is no such thing, but there is still an opportunity to put this right.

I grew up near this school, and my brother and sister-in-law are homeowners in this district. If I were to have a nephew or niece, this is the school they would attend.  I’m deeply troubled that the school board has caved to pressure from groups explicitly motivated by intolerance when it should be fulfilling its duty to educate and protect its students. In situations such as this, the loudest are rarely the wisest.

President Annette Johnson, with this decision you and your fellow Board members have fallen on the wrong side of history. But it’s not too late to change. You need to immediately address how you are going to care for the needs of a population already at severe risk, at the very time they are most vulnerable. Please look to trans people, such as myself, who have long navigated public spaces and understand both how to disabuse the fearfully ignorant of the illusions they hold about the safety of their children, and how to care for those who are truly in need of access to safe space.

Aurora, the nation’s eyes are now on you. And whether or not your students are immediately at risk, what you do now will impact thousands of kids in other schools across the country. You can either be one of the last flames of intolerance flickering pale at a new dawn, or shine as a beacon of dignity, respect, and informed leadership. Please honor your name, your community, and your children, by choosing the latter.  If I or any of my community can be of service as you seek to serve those under your care, please let me know.


Jen Richards

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