Great job by Matt Royer (NOVA Young Dems’ chair, Arlington Young Dems’ president, 8th CD Democratic Committee member, etc.), who really nails it here, regarding what happened at the Loudoun County School Board meeting last night:
Last night, the Arlington Young Democrats, Alexandria Young Democrats, Falls Church Young Democrats and allies came together at Clare and Don’s Beach Shack in Falls Church to celebrate Pride and help uplift our LGBTQ+ communities in a joyous fashion. Simultaneously unfortunately as I was giving my speech last night, dozens of demonstrators protested and verbally attacked the Loudoun County School Board for implementing policies to protect transgender students and against the adoption of teaching history to students from perspectives that are not normally taught in our public school education system.
It is deeply disturbing to see so many people so angry about kids wanting to be their true selves. Last night, there were a lot of adults who spoke out against this (including former State Senator Dick Black who tends to be on the wrong side of these issues always and forever) but what we didn’t see were the kids who these comments about “calling boys ‘girls’” abuses on mental and emotional level and then the amount of violence that those individuals are then subjected to later on.
Yes, while I support people in being able to express their political beliefs however they see fit, what I unequivocally do not support is denying people, especially children, their rights to be themselves, denying those people their humanity, and subjecting them to hours of torment and emotional trauma in order to prove a point that doesn’t even necessarily affect those lodging it. When your political platform is baked in all of those things together, it’s not a political belief: it’s hatred. You often hear that the school board should be for the students by parents at these meetings, so why are you attacking those same students? What does someone identifying themselves a certain way or loving someone do to you to make you so viscerally angry all the time?
But what I will say is what I said in my speech last night. It was very serendipitous and unplanned to that moment but something in my gut told me this would be a continuous issue that day:
To the transgender and non-binary students and to the LGTBQ+ student population at large. We see you. We hear you. You are valued. You are important. No one should have the right to tell you who you are or who you can’t be. Only you should determine that. The allies in our community like myself will continue to fight to make sure that that is honored.
I think we can all agree after this past year culminating in last night’s Loudoun meeting that School Board might just be the most thankless job in the entirety of history, so for all my school board friends, we are here to support you, especially those in Fairfax and Loudoun right now. You all are doing what is best for the community and against indescribable odds and I just am in awe of the grace in which you continue to show up everyday.