Kansas bill proposes restrictions on bathrooms for students who identify as transgender

Published: Mar. 20, 2016 at 8:32 PM CDT
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Taylor Stebbins is finally able to be the person she has always wanted to be. After living most of her life as a male, she is now coming to terms with her transgender identity.

“It has been difficult to navigate and it has brought more questions than answers in some cases but it has improved my life," said Stebbins.

But now Stebbins fears that a new bill that Kansas lawmakers are currently considering will threaten students who identify as transgender.

It’s called the Student Physical Privacy Act and it requires students to use the restroom according to the sex they were assigned to at birth, not the gender they identify with, meaning Stebbins would have to use the men’s restroom

“I already have to deal with so much and I attack my own self on a daily basis, that I don’t need that extra violence and if legislators want to protect anyone its trans students that need to be protected," said Stebbins.

Women’s Studies Assistant Professor Dr. Harlan Weaver says the bill would also endanger transgender students.

“They become more vulnerable to harassment, bullying, and violence because they have to go to different restrooms and have to constantly out themselves, bills like this don’t protect people, they kill people," said Weaver.

But Senator Mary Pilcher-Cook disagrees, in a statement to 13 News she says quote:

“Parents have reached out afraid for their children’s safety and they do not want attention for fear of being called a bigot, this legislation ensures accommodations, while still protecting everyone’s privacy rights.”

Stebbins disagrees.

“It leads me to question my place in the state in the future, if this legislation is passed," said Stebbins.

If the bill passes, schools would have to pay $2,500 to students who encounter transgender students in restrooms.