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Discussion Time? Transgender Homecoming King

http://www.woodtv.com/dpp/news/local/muskegon_county/ACLU-may-enter-school-transgender-case 

MUSKEGON, Mich. (WOOD) - The ACLU of Michigan wants to take up the cause of a transgender Mona Shores High School senior who was denied a chance to become homecoming king.

"I'd be willing to talk to them," Oakleigh Reed told 24 Hour News 8 today.

Jay Kaplan, staff attorney for the ACLU's Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Legal Project, said he took an interest in the case after seeing 24 Hour News 8's story on Reed , which aired Sunday.

"It raises some concern about how the school has chosen to treat people based on gender," Kaplan said.

Kaplan said he would contact the school, if Oakleigh agrees, to "alert the district to the laws. Hopefully, they'll reconsider the action that they've taken."

Oakleigh, who was born Oakleigh Marie but now goes by Oakleigh Marshall, is still listed in school records as a female. The teen plans to have a sex-change operation at age 18.

The student campaigned for homecoming king on Facebook -- a write-in election that took place on Sept. 17.

Mona Shores Principal Jennifer Bustard said rumors that Oakleigh got enough votes for king are untrue. There is no way to know because they stopped counting Oakleigh's votes.

"In order to be eligible for homecoming king, the ballot clearly states you must be a boy," she said. "For homecoming queen, you must be a girl."

"He, as I use the pronoun correctly out of respect, is not a boy."

When a student advisor told administrators that Oakleigh was getting votes, "we let the advisor know to nullify and not to continue on," Bustard said. "We just stopped (counting) when we noticed an ineligible person was running for that category."

"The school must be consistent when it comes to gender."

She wouldn't say how many votes Oakleigh had gotten before the counting stopped. "He received votes; that's all I'm going to share."

Some students believe the decision violates the school district's non-discrimination policy, which says the district "does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability in its programs and activities."

 

Thoughts? 

Re: Discussion Time? Transgender Homecoming King

  • Well, *technically* Oakleigh is a female at this time. She has not had a sex change operation. Has she even started the hormone therapy? Or anything?

    I know I sound mean, but frankly, I don't like this transgender stuff. It's a little creepy to me. It's like the pregnant man stuff....I feel like we are blurring the lines between male and female. It's too weird for me that someone is saying "I'm a man", and yet their body obviously functions as a female if they can sustain a pregnancy. 

    In a nutshell, I stand by the school's decision. 

    Kryssie Speaks

    Last updated 4/06/11

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  • While this may be the overarching general policy,

    Some students believe the decision violates the school district's non-discrimination policy, which says the district "does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability in its programs and activities."

    I think this, which is specifically aimed at homecoming, kind of trumps that:

    "In order to be eligible for homecoming king, the ballot clearly states you must be a boy," she said. "For homecoming queen, you must be a girl." 

    The student is, legally and physically, still a girl. And I think any other girl, regardless of "plans" for surgery, would also be denied the spot of king. This has a lot of potential to get blown out of the water and made into a discrimination case, when really it doesn't have to be. At the time of the voting, she does/did not meet the requirements. That's it.

  • I heard that story on NPR. I think the ACLU is right to get involved and that the school district is wrong. If this person has been representing himself as a boy for some time, e.g. more than simply for the purposes of the homecoming election, then I think he should be eligible. I think the ballot should be reworded.
  • I just watched the video, and it's interesting that the student they interviewed kept saying "she", not "he".
    Kryssie Speaks

    Last updated 4/06/11

    image Snortlemonster: Amaretto's siggy says: I'M A BLOGGER, BUT I'M NOT GOING TO FORCE-FEED IT TO YOU. And I have a secret life. And a sense of humor. And I am in charge. Sort of.
  • image Diana Prince:
    I heard that story on NPR. I think the ACLU is right to get involved and that the school district is wrong. If this person has been representing himself as a boy for some time, e.g. more than simply for the purposes of the homecoming election, then I think he should be eligible. I think the ballot should be reworded.

    I agree.

    The school has treated him as a boy for a while.  The teachers refer to him as a "he".  They let him wear tuxes to band performances while the girls wear skirts or dresses.  I'm sure there are other examples.

    I think if he runs for king, and gets votes, then let the votes be counted.  I'm embarrassed that this has made the (national?) news. 

  • If she wants to be King, and the students voted her King; why do we care? What am I missing? Why not let her be king? I don't see how her being King hurts anyone. 

     

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  • image Mira06:

    If she wants to be King, and the students voted her King; why do we care? What am I missing? Why not let her be king? I don't see how her being King hurts anyone. 


     

    I agree.  It's not like he's running for POTUS.  It's a flippin high school homecoming court. 

  • image Diana Prince:
    I heard that story on NPR. I think the ACLU is right to get involved and that the school district is wrong. If this person has been representing himself as a boy for some time, e.g. more than simply for the purposes of the homecoming election, then I think he should be eligible. I think the ballot should be reworded.

    I agree.  This is a special case, he identifies as male and has for some time now, the students voted for him - what's the big deal?  Who does it hurt if they bend the rule or rewrite the rules for him?  It seems they are causing more harm by denying him the title due to a technicality.  In general, I find it annoying when people say "Well we're just following the rules . . " instead of using common sense.  Like punishing a 1st grader that brings a butter knife to cut brownies for a treat under the no tolerance weapons rule.

  • Does "he" use the men's bathroom? If not, then he's not a boy. Therefore, no king title. 
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  • If the rules are bent for this kid, what else can someone make a case for? What if my kid decides he identifies himself as a dog when he gets to school--will he be be allowed to walk on all 4s, go naked, pee on the wall, and eat from a bowl on the floor at lunch? Come on!

    The kid in question is a girl, legally and physically. Until that changes, she has no case here.

     

  • image LVila:
    Does "he" use the men's bathroom? If not, then he's not a boy. Therefore, no king title. 

    And what if he does?  Or what if he doesn't use the restroom at school? 

    I've used men's bathrooms before - pretty sure that doesn't make me a man.  

    Like I said before, if his peers accept him as a boy and vote for him, I don't see why this has to get blown out of proportion.  Let it be. 

  • image GRKaters:

    If the rules are bent for this kid, what else can someone make a case for? What if my kid decides he identifies himself as a dog when he gets to school--will he be be allowed to walk on all 4s, go naked, pee on the wall, and eat from a bowl on the floor at lunch? Come on!

    The kid in question is a girl, legally and physically. Until that changes, she has no case here.

    Is your only point against this that it is a slippery slope?  Again, I feel like people should use common sense in situations like this - so no your child would not be allowed to act like a dog at school because that is nonsensical.  An individual identifying with one gender even though they have the genetalia of another is not nonsensical.

  • How do we determine what someone's gender is? 

     Their external sex organs?  So as soon as they have the operation they can be considered the opposite gender?

    Their DNA? What about boys with the xxy choromsomes? Or xyy?  If we determine by DNA what gender are they?

     And what about "intersexed"?  When they are born their genitals are difficult to distinguish between male or female. Sometimes the baby has an operation after the parents choose, to make him a girl or a boy. (commonly the child grows up and under goes another sex change, b/c the parents guessed wrong)

    Who are we to tell someone, what gender they are?  Wouldn't they know better then a random person? 

    If Oak identifies as a male, then what harm is that to anyone else?

     

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  • image Mira06:

    How do we determine what someone's gender is? 

     Their external sex organs?  So as soon as they have the operation they can be considered the opposite gender?

    Their DNA? What about boys with the xxy choromsomes? Or xyy?  If we determine by DNA what gender are they?

     And what about "intersexed"?  When they are born their genitals are difficult to distinguish between male or female. Sometimes the baby has an operation after the parents choose, to make him a girl or a boy. (commonly the child grows up and under goes another sex change, b/c the parents guessed wrong)

    Who are we to tell someone, what gender they are?  Wouldn't they know better then a random person? 

    If Oak identifies as a male, then what harm is that to anyone else?


    I agree with everything, especially the last part.  Well said.

  • Well said, Mira. I also agree that this is not a slippery slope case, for the reasons Juli said. From what I understand about transgender individuals, there isn't really a "choice" involved.
  • I agree with the group that Oak should have been allowed to crowned King.  Why does the rule that for King you vote for a boy have to be so strict.  This isn't something that most people will remember 10 years or more down the road.  It is a high school homecoming ceremony.  Everyone knows it is a popularity contest, and the outcome doesn't change the world or anything.  So if Oak is popular enough to win the vote, he should be King.

    I especially feel this way because in every other aspect the school has treated Oak as a boy.  If they had been strict in other areas, then I could see them denying this too.  

  • image Mira06:

    How do we determine what someone's gender is? 

     Their external sex organs?  So as soon as they have the operation they can be considered the opposite gender?

    Their DNA? What about boys with the xxy choromsomes? Or xyy?  If we determine by DNA what gender are they?

     And what about "intersexed"?  When they are born their genitals are difficult to distinguish between male or female. Sometimes the baby has an operation after the parents choose, to make him a girl or a boy. (commonly the child grows up and under goes another sex change, b/c the parents guessed wrong)

    Who are we to tell someone, what gender they are?  Wouldn't they know better then a random person? 

    If Oak identifies as a male, then what harm is that to anyone else?


    Agreed.

    Welcome back

    Willa 4.6.06 and Henry 10.18.08 Camp Sinki
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