Proving ignorance breeds ignorance once again, an angry, white, cisgendered male pulled his 3 sons from a public school in protest of a transgender boy being allowed to use the bathroom.
Matt Stewart is upset because Southwest Elementary school in Howell, MI didn’t force a transgender student to jump through hoops just to be allowed to pee, nor send out a letter saying that they would allow that child dignity. He is also claiming that an awkward moment (caused by school staff members) amounted to “embarrassment and intimidation” to his son because another 9-year-old (who the irate Stewart and his son misidentified as a girl, despite the other child’s stated gender) went to the stall instead of to the urinal.
Another reason that Stewart is mad? He wasn’t given the chance to rant and rail against equality at a public meeting discussing one student using a restroom for its intended purpose. Instead of making a big deal of something that isn’t one, the school district quietly complied with the law and didn’t discriminate against a student based on their gender.
Though it seems there may be a lack of education all around on what transgender means because in what amounts to a hypersexualization of young children it seems the staff may have made a big deal about simple bathroom etiquette. By telling the boys who were standing to “move closer to the urinal” and instructing the boy going to the stall to “look at the wall,” the situation was made awkward by a person reported to be on the staff.
However, as I understand it, it is considered rude to brandish one’s penis or conversely to stare at other’s genitals while using the men’s room — and all boys learn this at some point in time. Assuming that a 9-year-old is going to be inappropriately ogling other’s parts is probably not the best way to handle that, but the school was at least trying to do the right thing.
The bigoted father, however, would rather his children miss school than have to face the reality that some people are transgender, and what genitals a person has are none of anyone’s damn business. He could have chosen to answer their questions, he could have reached out as to how to explain this to his children, but no — he reached out to find out how to get special treatment for his children, so their privacy is protected from other boys.
By the way, if you are wondering how to talk to your children about these things, Dr. Carnigee Truesdale-Howard, a pediatric psychologist at Beaumont Children’s Hospital, says parents should take time to learn more about this so they can help their children get along with all classmates.
Put aside their fears and anxieties, and maybe educate themselves about what transgender is — and go from there.
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Featured image via screen capture