A Gay College Dean Takes on Betsy DeVos's Transphobia

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School can be tough for any kid, but for the LGBTQ+ community it can be compounded with added layers of bullying, disenfranchisement, and discrimination. I’ve seen this firsthand as a high school teacher, law professor, and now as a dean. As one of only a handful of openly LGBTQ+ deans to ever lead a law school in our nation’s history, I am well aware of the added obstacles and challenges our community can face.

That’s why I was so angered by the Department of Education when it recently announced it would no longer investigate or take action on any complaints filed by transgender students who are banned from restrooms that match their gender identity. This reversal of an Obama-era policy that protected transgender students under Title IX puts students’ safety at risk and creates a hostile learning environment for trans, nonbinary, and LGBTQ+ students. The hostile environment fostered under these new guidelines also extends to transgender faculty and staff at schools and universities.