Virginia schools would be forced to out trans kids under chilling Don’t Say Gay copycat bill

A person holds up a sign reading 'Trans rights are human rights' in the blue, pink and white colours of the trans Pride flag during a protest

A new House bill introduced on Monday (9 January) would require school officials in Virginia to notify parents if their children were transgender.

The new legislation was brought in by Republican Virginia state delegate, Tara Durant. She introduced the bill two days before the Virginia General Assembly’s 2023 legislative session.

A Republican state delegate in the state of Virginia recently introduced a bill that would ban transgender athletes to compete in a school sports team.

Disturbingly, the new Virginia bill states: “Any person licensed as administrative or instructional personnel by the Board of Education and employed by a local school board who, in the scope of his employment, has reason to believe, as a result of direct communication from a student, that such student is self-identifying as a gender that is different than his biological sex to contact, as soon as practicable and in accordance with board guidelines, at least one of such student’s parents to ask whether such parent is aware of the student’s mental state and whether the parent wishes to obtain or has already obtained counselling for such student.” 

House Bill 1434 would ban “any school board member or school board employee from changing the name of a student enrolled in the local school division on any education record relating to such student unless the member or employee receives a change of name order for such student that was issued in accordance with relevant law.”

A person holds up a sign reading "We support trans/queer athletes" during a counter-protest
Virginia has already introduced a bill that bans trans students from playing sports that correlate with their gender identity. (Getty)

Speaking to The Washington Blade, Danica Roem, the first openly trans woman who was elected to a state legislature in America, told the publication that the introduction of Bill 1707 would force out transgender students. Roem said: “[It would] prevent trans kids from being acknowledged as who they are in school.

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“This what happens when straight people, never in their lives, have worried about being outed to other people.”

Earlier in January, bill SB129 was proposed in Oklahoma by another Republican, senator David Bullard.

The horrific bill could prevent healthcare professionals from providing “gender transition procedures” to patients within the age bracket. Physicians who refer patients under the age of 26 for gender-affirming treatments would be convicted of a felony.

With various other anti-trans bills being introduced within Oklahoma, activists have said that the legislations promote “baseless fears” and do nothing to address those problems.”

North Carolina Republicans introduced a near identical transphobic bill last year

In 2022, three North Carolina Republican lawmakers introduced a bill that would also force school staff to out any transgender or gender non-conforming student to their parents.

Senate Bill 514 would make it illegal for “government agents” to not immediately inform the parents or legal guardians of students , if they understood that the student was trans or non-binary.

Kendra R Johnson, executive director of Equality NC, said in a statement: “These attempts to control the bodies and medical decisions of parents and their transgender children are invasive, inappropriate and outright dangerous,” Johnson said.

“Decisions about a child’s medical welfare should be made between that child, their doctor, and their parents or guardians – not lawmakers.

“It’s heartbreaking – though not unexpected – to see these direct repeated attacks on trans and gender-nonconforming youth in North Carolina and across the country. We cannot legislate the transgender community out of existence. It is the job of all lawmakers to understand their entirety of their constituency and mitigate challenges instead of creating barriers.”