The Illinois Family Institute (IFI), a designated anti-LGBT “hate group,” thought it was successful when it opposed East Aurora School District’s transgender-inclusive policy and the district then rescinded the measure. But now that the district has formed a new committee to readdress what would be best for trans students, IFI’s Laurie Higgins is livid. Higgins has posted an epic screed against the effort, blatantly attacking trans members of the committee as “two adult cross-dressing males who wish they were women” and encouraging bullying of transgender — what IFI calls “gender-confused” — students.
Before delving into IFI’s epic tirade of bigotry, let it be noted here that mental health professionals agree that the best therapy for young people questioning their gender identity is to affirm them, including with social recognition (pronouns, name choice, etc.) and a non-discrimination environment. Gender identity is a separate experience from biological sex, and like sexual orientation, it is not chosen, however biologically invisible it may (yet) be. To not respect an individual’s identity is to reject it, and to encourage such rejection is to promote bullying and discrimination. That is exactly IFI’s intention.
Here, Higgins is directly encouraging bullying. There is no “kind, compassionate and inclusive” way of telling a person that their identity exists outside of “morality, objective reality, and public order.” Such messages promote quite the opposite sentiment.
The Aurora community should demand that only Aurora community members may serve on the committee, and at the next election, they should get rid of any school board member who supports any “transgender” policy.
It is unclear if Higgins is even concerned if IFI is advocating on behalf of anybody. Her claims that cisgender (non-trans) students might get uncomfortable in the bathroom around a trans student — a consequence of being similarly misinformed about trans identities — are weak. They are no more substantive than arguments that white customers might feel uncomfortable with black customers at a lunch counter. IFI has a vendetta that is both political and personal, and such perspectives have no role to play when the goal is a safe school with an efficient learning environment.