A Vermont high school is facing backlash for allowing a transgender “de-transitioning” event entitled “Transgender ‘care’ – helpful or harmful?”
Tuesday’s event, although not school sanctioned, has sparked controversy regarding the message it delivered. It featured Walter Heyer, who transitioned from male to female in the 1980s and ended up de-transitioning after finding the process did not change his gender dysphoria.
Hundreds of protesters gathered outside of the school to showcase their disapproval.
Amanda Rhodenburg from Outright Vermont, a queer youth service organization, says people choosing to de-transition is very rare — and not everyone has the same journey.
“To have a community group coming into the very school that young people are required to attend every day to say that they are bad or wrong or that they shouldn’t exist and don’t belong there is so deeply harmful,” said Rhodenburg.
The “Transgender ‘care’ – helpful or harmful?” event was hosted by the group “Parent’s Right to Education”– which describes itself as advocates for parents to make decisions regarding their children’s schooling.
They released a statement saying: “Parents also have a right to influence school policy, and protect their children from controversial subjects, which many consider to be age-inappropriate, and not medically accurate, even dangerous.”
Addison Northwest School District Superintendent Sheila Soule issued a statement saying their policy allows any group regardless of beliefs to use the facilities but that “the perspectives proposed by the organizers of the forthcoming event are not in harmony with the vision and mission of the district.”