A New Hampshire mother gave powerful testimony last month in favor of a bill seeking to preserve female-only spaces in which she told of how her 13-year-old daughter is being harassed at school by a male student who identifies as a gender-fluid lesbian.
Samia DeMarco told the House Judiciary Committee the male student is allowed to use the girls’ facilities at her daughter’s school, and how the student once left the stall door open while urinating. On another occasion, the male student and a group of transgender friends, some of whom identify as animals, entered the female locker room and watched the girls changing.
DeMarco was speaking at a public hearing for House Bill 396: Relative to the State Recognition of Biological Sex. This bill seeks to preserve the state’s ability to differentiate between biological sexes in areas such as athletic competitions, prisons, restrooms, or places of intimate privacy.
New Hampshire currently allows citizens to select whatever gender they choose on their drivers’ licenses, so this legislation would clarify that spaces are segregated by biological sex and not a person’s self-declared gender status.
DeMarco told the Committee that she was a survivor of sexual violence and that she has spent the last 13 years working hard to ensure that her daughters don’t end up in a situation where they are vulnerable. She described feeling alarmed and disheartened to discover that the school was putting girls at risk by allowing males to use the female facilities.
When her daughter complained to the school about the male student’s presence in the girls’ bathroom, the school brushed off her discomfort and told her to use the unisex facility.
"The school is incredibly timid about addressing these issues with that specific demographic, and I am told that a gender non-conforming student cannot be segregated into a single-stall restroom, that it makes them uncomfortable," DeMarco said.
The concerned mother then told the committee that in the weeks that followed, the trans-identified male students bullied the girls and made rude comments about their bodies "in retaliation for these victims making a complaint to the school’s administration."
"By allowing this to continue, we are telling our little girls that their bodies aren't sacred. There are no repercussions for these offenses and we won't be doing anything to ensure their safety and comfort," she said. "Please consider the damage this is doing to our pubescent daughters’ already fragile sense of self and work to put something in place that makes all of our students feel safe at school."
DeMarco said she was struggling with the fact that she has to tell her daughter to change her behavior to protect her innocence and modesty because the state has failed in its duty to protect her.
"This is in a publicly funded building that I should feel confident about her safety," said DeMarco. "While I can instruct my own daughter on how to avoid compromising situations, we're exposing other little girls to potential danger or discomfort. Our state needs clear guidance that addresses genitalia, not gender identity. If you have male body parts, you should utilize the male facilities, or an available unisex bathroom and vice versa."
Women and girls being asked to either ignore their fear and discomfort or use a unisex facility is becoming increasingly common because trans-identified males demand access to the spaces that match their self-declared gender identity.
In British Columbia last month, a trans-identified male hit the headlines after going public about being asked to use a co-ed gym rather than the women-only gym. Brigid Klyne-Simpson is considering filing a human rights complaint after the gym owner prioritized the safety and privacy of women and girls over Klyne-Simpson’s feelings and desire for validation.
Last year in Ontario, Josh Alexander was suspended from his high school for staging a single-sex bathroom protest after some female students had confided in him that they were uncomfortable sharing the girls’ bathroom with trans-identified male students. One of the trans-identified male students said in an interview that the school had offered the use of a unisex bathroom, but the trans-identified male refused to use it. Alexander remains excluded from school and is also considering filing a human rights complaint.
"My last thought is this. Women's rights were an important topic for decades. But now…we are being trampled in the interest of progressivism, our feelings no longer matter. We're being told there's nothing that can be done for fear of a discrimination lawsuit from the LGBTQ+ community. So I urge this committee: please vote in support of passing this bill," DeMarco concluded.
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