Janine Jackson interviewed Kris Hayashi about the Supreme Court’s non-ruling on trans students for the March 10, 2017, episode of CounterSpin. This is a lightly edited transcript.
Janine Jackson: Listeners may know the name Gavin Grimm, the transgender teen boy from Virginia whose case for his right to use the boys’ bathroom in his high school the Supreme Court has just declined to hear. You are less likely to know the name Ciara McElveen, a New Orleans outreach worker for the homeless, or Jamie Lee Wounded Arrow, a nursing student in South Dakota, two of the at least seven trans women killed violently just so far in 2017.
The failure of institutions like the Court to prioritize the human rights of transgender people, and the daily violence committed against them, might seem like two separate, if related, stories. But maybe it’s really only one story, about continued resistance to accepting transgender people, including kids, as fully human, deserving of inclusion and protection.
We’re joined now by Kris Hayashi, executive director of the Transgender Law Center. He joins us by phone from Oakland. Welcome to CounterSpin, Kris Hayashi.
Kris Hayashi: Thank you for having me.
When media headlines reported that the Trump White House’s retraction of the Obama administration’s guidance around the rights of transgender students in public schools, when the headlines said that meant those rights were “rescinded” or “revoked,” they were just wrong, and it seems important to make clear that that kind of move doesn’t change the law, no matter what anybody says.
But it’s also the case that a decision like the one the Supreme Court just made on Gavin Grimm, that kind of thing can still have an effect, can’t it? I wonder what’s your response, in particular to …read more