KS bill restricts transgender bathroom access

Posted at 6:34 PM, Mar 19, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-20 17:29:47-04

A bill making its way through the Kansas House and Senate would force transgender students to use bathrooms of the sex they were born into.

"I thought we were better than this," said 19-year-old transgender student Michael Galvin, who graduated from Blue Valley North High School in Kansas.

Galvin says while he was in high school, he was forced to use the facility restrooms.

“It made me feel like I was separate you know, other, like I'm not a part of the main stream of my school," said Galvin.

He says being forced to use the ladies' bathroom would have only made things worse.

"It definitely separates us out, which is potentially dangerous," said Galvin. "Going to the bathroom shouldn't be a matter of life and death."

The bill going through the Kansas Senate states allowing transgender youth to use the bathroom of their choosing could create the "potential for disruption of educational activities and unsafe situations."

The bill also says "sex" is the physical condition of being male or female based on a person’s "chromosomes."

If this bill passes, schools would have to pay $2,500 to students who encounter a transgender student in the bathroom.

"The bill in the senate and the house that has been introduced places a $2,500 bounty on the heads of transgender children, which is completely horrifying," said Sandra Meade with Equality Kansas.

Sandra is a transgender woman from Loathe, Kansas, and a member of Equality Kansas. She says Kansas lawmakers even talking about putting this policy in place is hurtful to the transgender community, especially transgender youth.

"This bill just being considered lets trans kids know that they are really not welcome, and it gives the impression that the adults that introduced the bill think there is something wrong with them," said Meade.