Young person with a backpack holding a transgender pride flag at rally

In the first month of 2024, Virginia lawmakers proposed nine  bills that expressly target transgender (“trans”) trans and nonbinary Virginians. The majority of these bills persecute trans, nonbinary, and gender nonconforming youth. For example, Senate Bill 37 mandates the forced outing and endangerment of trans, nonbinary, and questioning students. Meanwhile, Senate Bills 723 and 68  contain express language that illegally bars transgender women and girls from accessing athletic programs consistent with their affirmed gender in primary, secondary, and higher educational sports.

On February 1, 2024, NWLC submitted testimony responding to these three harmful bills, opposing these efforts to harm trans, nonbinary, and other LGBQIA+ youth. We reject forced outing requirements imposed by SB 37, which would illegally erode the education civil rights of trans and nonbinary youth, harm youth wellbeing, limit educators from best-practices to create safe and inclusive classrooms, and increase risks for child abuse and homelessness. Additionally, we oppose the efforts by SB 723 and SB 68 to restrict student athletes’ access and ability to play sports because they are trans. As advocates for gender justice, survivors of sexual assault, and civil rights, we advocate for inclusive and respectful schools for all LGBTQIA+ students because it is the right thing to do, and because all girls and women are safer in schools when they can learn free from gender policing policies.