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US Roll-Back of Transgender Rights Causes Scare Felt Around the World

Shawn Pogatchnik - Associated Press
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February 27, 2017

As Donald Trump and U.S. courts seek to make transgender use of toilets an American battleground in schools, the more progressive corners of Europe and Latin America are shaking their heads in bewilderment. From Tipperary to Tierra del Fuego, schools let children go to the bathroom that suits their identity, a trend that could be reversed if the bitter U.S. debate travels overseas.

“What happens in the U.S. has a cultural impact here, and it’s scary,” said Catherine Cross, Lucas’ mother, who helps Irish schools nationwide set policies on how to support transgender students. “There’s always going to be people who are frightened of change. It could give them license to shout louder when they see what’s going on in the States.”

The right of transgender students to use restrooms in keeping with their own identity has become an afterthought in Norway and Argentina, where the world’s most far-reaching laws allow children to have their sexual identity reversed on their birth certificates, passports and other official identification without any formal medical diagnosis. Acceptance of identity from age 6 onward is the order of the day.

“When someone changes gender, the corresponding bathroom is respected. If it’s a trans girl, she goes to the girl’s bathroom. If it’s a trans boy, he goes to the boy’s,” said Barbara Magarelli, a gay rights activist in Argentina, where she advocates supports for transgender children — including her own 12-year-old, whose official documents were changed three years ago to reflect her identity as a boy.

Magarelli said parents often have the bigger problem coming to grips with new realities. Her son’s prepubescent classmates, she said, “already knew.”

Read the rest at LGBTQ Nation

Related: Trump Just Made Bathrooms Less Safe for Trans Students. Here's What to Do Now. (Upworthy)

Related: The Trans Teen Wrestler Forced to Compete with Girls Won & Now Parents Are Upset (LGBTQ Nation)

Related: Janet Mock: Young People Get Trans Rights. It’s Adults Who Don’t (The New York Times)

Related: A Republican, Christian Mom of a Trans Child Sounds Off on Trump's Bathroom Order (Upworthy)

Image: Brandon Weber/Facebook

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