National Center For Transgender Equality’s Harper Jean Tobin And High Schooler Evan Morris Discuss Transgender School Issues

From Huffington Post:


This month we’ve shared a Voice to Voice conversation between author Whitney Joiner and the ACLU’s Chris Hampton and one between Jason Cianciotto and Sean Cahill, authors of the new book “LGBT Youth in America’s Schools,” as part of our anti-bullying program currently running on The Huffington Post.

Today we bring you a conversation between Harper Jean Tobin, the National Center for Transgender Equality‘s Policy Counsel, and Evan Morris, a high school student in Montgomery County, Maryland.

As Policy Counsel, Harper Jean coordinates all aspects of advocacy on federal administrative policies and regulations for NCTE. When she is not engaging with federal agencies and the current administration, she works to provide information for the public about laws and policies that affect transgender people. Harper Jean’s writing on transgender equality and other issues has been published in the Harvard Kennedy School’s LGBTQ Policy Journal, Notre Dame’s Journal of Legislation, the Yale Law Journal Pocket Part, the Columbia Journal of Gender & the Law, the Case Western Reserve Journal of International Law, and others. She received degrees in law and social work from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland and is an alumna of Oberlin College.

Evan is a member of the Sexual Minority Youth Assistance League’s (SMYAL) Youth Advocacy Program, which supports and empowers lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) youth in the Washington, DC metropolitan region.

Harper Jean and Evan’s conversation coincides with the release of NCTE’s “Know Your Rights At School” guide a brand new resource that outlines the rights trans and gender nonconforming students have in schools and how to file formal complaints. NCTE notes that it does not provide legal services, but instead encourages anyone who cannot resolve issues through the complaint processes discussed in the guide to seek legal counsel.

Here Harper Jean and Evan discuss their personal experiences with being trans in school, bullying, intrusive questions and more.

Harper Jean Tobin: I want to start out by saying how psyched I was to connect with you through SMYAL and how impressed I am by the work you’re doing to raise awareness of the need to support trans youth and all LGBT youth. I know that when I was in high school I was involved in activism around a lot of different issues of racial and economic justice and youth rights, but not specifically around the issues that I faced as someone who, I guess at the time you would have said was gender nonconforming.

Evan Morris: Thank you! I’m honored to be speaking with you. The work of the National Center for Transgender Equality is incredibly important, for me specifically the Model District Policy on Transgender and Gender Nonconforming Students, which I used a lot in speaking to my school about my needs.

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