Meet the Honoree

Students Who Are Transgender and Their Families

 

 

 

 

A student testifies before the District 211 school board.

A student testifies before the District 211 school board.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois is proud to honor a courageous group of students who are transgender and their family members from across Illinois, students who have worked with the ACLU to demand fair and humane treatment in their schools. Combatting a lack of understanding, fear and even overt hostility, these students and their family members are helping to advance awareness and acceptance of people who are transgender, and brought together communities across Illinois to work in favor of the dignity of students who are transgender.

Across Illinois, transgender students are demanding that their teachers and school administration respect their gender. They’ve requested that school officials use their preferred names and pronouns, allow them to wear clothing that fits their gender, play sports and use restrooms and locker rooms that are appropriate for their gender. Some schools have welcomed transgender students and affirmed their gender identities. Others have not, or have offered young people some accommodations, but denied them others. Students who are not transgender (cisgender students) are often strong supporters of their transgender fellow students and can be wonderful allies in the struggle for fairness.