Ashton is a 16-year-old transgender boy from Manteca. He lives as a boy, but was assigned to girls’ gym class—this singled him out, since he was the only boy in a class full of girls, and made him feel so devastated he couldn't focus in his other classes. After learning about the law, his school administrators met with him and his parents and made a plan for him to join the boys’ physical education class. Now, Ashton is able to be himself and he is happily going to school with his friends.
Zoey is a 12-year-old transgender girl from the Los Angeles area who transferred out of her school after administrators there refused to acknowledge her as a girl or allow her to use the girls’ restroom. Her mom, Ofelia Barba, says that the law makes it easier for her daughter to go to school and be herself.
Logan Henderson graduated from Santa Monica High School last year and now attends Dartmouth College. He came out as a transgender boy his first year of high school, and he had to walk across campus to the nurse's office to change for PE, making him regularly late to class. Ultimately, his administrators worked with him so that he could do well, and he's hopeful that the guidelines provided by AB 1266 will help the school support the younger transgender youth who are still at his high school.
Dean is a 17-year-old transgender boy from Bakersfield and takes online classes instead of going to a traditional campus. He stopped going to regular high school because he was forced into girls’ activities and bathrooms even though he is transgender and he lives as a boy in all other parts of his life. He wishes he could go back to traditional school because he misses being around other kids, going to school with his friends, and being able to join clubs and participate in activities on campus.
Eli Erlick, a student at Pitzer College, graduated from Willits Charter School in 2013 and is the founder and director of Trans Student Equality Resources. She came out as transgender when she was 8, and passed a policy in line with the Student Success and Opportunity Act in her district.
Kane is a 17-year-old from San Jose who wasn’t on track to graduate because he had been missing classes due to problems he was having at school related to his gender expression. After he heard about the law, he finally felt safe letting people know he is transgender, and living as a boy at school. His principal and teachers used the law as a guide, which has worked well for him and his classmates. Now he’s thriving at school.
Jaden Handzlik is a 17-year-old high school senior from Murrieta, CA. He knew for a long time that he was really a boy, not a girl, and he came out to his family as transgender a year and a half ago. His family at first didn't understand, but they still loved him and supported him. As his mom Kristie said, "Your child is your child. When you know they are hurting, you try to understand why they're hurting. You don't turn your back on them." When Jaden told his administrators, they -- in line with the guidance provided by AB 1266 -- worked with him and his family to make sure he could continue to go to school and do well. He's now thriving at school and loves being with his family and friends.
Felix is a seventeen year old transgender boy from Berkeley, CA. When he came out to his classmates and teachers, they supported him. His school allowed him to fully express his authentic gender identity, and participate in school just like all the other boys. The support from his classmates and school helped him stay focused on his schoolwork and friends like every other kid. Since AB 1266 passed, transgender students get to feel supported in their community. Felix believes that the law will give other transgender students the opportunity to do well in school.
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