New law requires California public schools to respect students’ gender identity

California has already been proactive in fighting discrimination against trans folks – you may remember us talking about their ban on trans discrimination in healthcare. They also banned gender discrimination in schools.

Lawmakers in the state have now taken steps to make sure that trans folks are not only safe from discrimination but given the opportunity to participate and flourish in school. Governor Jerry Brown has signed the School Success and Opportunity Act into law.

 “The law, which goes into effect on January 1, 2014, is the first of its kind in the country, and requires that California public schools respect students’ gender identity and makes sure that students can fully participate in all school activities,sports teams, programs, and facilities that match their gender identity.”

By making this law, California has surpassed states like Massachusetts and Connecticut that have similar policies. “California is the first to put them into statute and require them in all school districts.”

This is great new for trans students who are now able to exist and take advantage of resources and outlets at school as themselves. This also has the potential to set the foundation for some important conversations in California, and nationwide, about what trans inclusion actually looks like.

Feministing's resident "sexpert", Sesali is a published writer and professional shit talker. She is a queer Black girl, fat girl, and trainer. She was the former Training Director at the United States Student Association and later a member of the Youth Organizing team at Planned Parenthood Federation of America. She received her bachelors in Women's and Gender Studies from Depaul University in 2012 and is currently pursuing a master's in Women's, Gender, and Sexuality studies at Georgia State University in Atlanta. A self identified "trap" feminist, and trained with a reproductive justice background, her interests include the intersections of feminism and: pop culture, youth culture, social media, hip hop, girlhood, sexuality, race, gender, and Beyonce. Sesali joined the team in 2010 as one of the winners of our So You Think You Can Blog contest.

is Feministing's resident sexpert and cynic.

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  • http://feministing.com/members/ladysoprano/ Megan

    This is excellent! I am a high school teacher in CA. My school started up this week and I have a transgender student in my choir. He has already acknowledged that he wants to be identified as male but knows he will probably sing a higher voice part for now. I’m happy that my school admin is completely committed to helping him be comfortable and safe as he makes this change (he identified as female last year).