Home News Advocates call on Dayton to convene task force on transgender youth

Advocates call on Dayton to convene task force on transgender youth

Advocates call on Dayton to convene task force on transgender youth
Gov. Mark Dayton signing Safe Schools Act into law
Gov. Mark Dayton signing Safe Schools Act into law
Gov. Mark Dayton signing Safe Schools Act into law

More than forty organizations serving or advocating for transgender youth are calling on Gov. Mark Dayton to establish a task force to address trends of increasing threats to the safety of transgender and gender diverse students, and rising levels self-harm among this population.

In a letter published in the Pioneer Press over the weekend, Dave Edwards of Transforming Families, a group for families with transgender and gender-creative youth, called on Dayton to convene a task force:

Our members have been on the front lines advocating for our youth across the state for many years. For families who have experienced vocal and often hostile opposition toward gender inclusive policies and practices in public schools, Minnesota Department of Education’s statement of support last spring was cause to be optimistic about the future. However, on Nov. 1, our optimism turned to panic when MDE made data from the new Minnesota Student Survey publicly available. New questions on the 2016 survey made it possible to assess the school experiences of ninth- and 11th-grade students who identify as transgender or a gender minority. The results for this demographic were worse than we could have imagined.

These students, according to the MSS, were three times more likely to report feeling unsafe at school, four times more likely to experience bullying, and five times more likely to have attempted suicide.

“The MSS data provide evidence that our worst nightmare is the current reality for students in Minnesota,” Edwards wrote.

A coalition of more than forty organizations is backing the call for Gov. Dayton to convene a task force. Those organizations include OutFront Minnesota, the ACLU of Minnesota, the National Center for Transgender Equality, 180 Degrees, AMAZE, Bisexual Organizing Project, The Bridge for Youth, Educators 4 Excellence Minnesota, The Family Tree Clinic, Full Spectrum Student Alliance – Winona State University, Gender Inclusive Schools, Gender Justice, Gender and Sexual Diversity Parent Advisory Council – Saint Paul Public Schools, GLSEN, HRC Twin Cities, The Link, Lansing Association for Human Rights, MOASH – Michigan Organization on Adolescent Sexual Health, Minnesota Conference United Church of Christ, MN School Pride GSA Network, Minnesota Transgender Health Coalition, MN Two-Spirit Society, MN Q Youth, The Minnesota Unitarian Universalist Social Justice Alliance, OutFront MN, National Center for Transgender Equality, Out4Good – Minneapolis Public Schools, PFLAG Twin Cities, Queer & Straight Student Organization – Century College, Queer Issues Committee – University of MN Morris, Queer Pride Alliance – Augsburg College, Rabbi Michael Adam Latz, Senior Rabbi, Shir Tikvah, Rainbow Health Initiative, RECLAIM, Stand with Trans, Stonewall DFL Caucus, Tate Topa Consulting, and Trans United Fund.

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Andy Birkey has written for a number of Minnesota and national publications. He founded Eleventh Avenue South which ran from 2002-2011, wrote for the Minnesota Independent from 2006-2011, the American Independent from 2010-2013. His writing has appeared in The Advocate, The Star Tribune, The Huffington Post, Salon, Cagle News Service, Twin Cities Daily Planet, TheUptake, Vita.mn and much more. His writing on LGBT issues, the religious right and social justice has won awards including Best Beat Reporting by the Online News Association, Best Series by the Minnesota chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists, and an honorable mention by the Sex-Positive Journalism awards.


  1. When is someone going to teach the Ignorant present American society of how people become Transgender. Of the religious ones, Christians as well as Muslims, are just following false information, against the medical communities present thirty plus years of scientific studies. The Christians are basically following the false information of the present and past Popes. Their information is based on false information given to Pope Benedict by a documented Transgender hater, Mr. Paul McHugh, a retired Psychologist from Johns Hopkins, who has no Transgender training, and has never done any Transgender studies or research, except follow the Catholic line on their theories of transgender. The present Pope Francis, should go down in history as the Killer Pope because of the words he uses to describe US, as Nuclear weapons, and Abominations, to seek the surgeries, necessarily proven to help US live better lives. By his obfuscating the Truth of our Birth Anomaly, and condemning US, Brazil a mainly Christian country kills over a hundred of Transgender people in the most horrendous ways, based on their preachings. To be Transgender is a simple Birth Anomaly that happens in the first few weeks of pregnancy, when we are all prototypical females. When the hormone signals come around the eighteen week period when the body is to be given either male or female bodies, we Transgender still have the female programed brain, yet with a male body. These ideas have been studied, and shown to be the cause by modern science. We trans do have the Brains that a scientist calls Intersex, they do when studied, are either masculine or feminine, and match what they say they are. The Pope is not following Christ’s, Love your neighbor as yourself statement, and placing himself above God to not accept our bodies as God made US in His/Her Image.

    Education is necessary from scientific entities to get these points across to our Ignorant society and stop the suicides and the false Bathroom Myth that the fear mongering Republicans started. Whenever in history you want to get back at an enemy you create fear. An example is the fact that you live in an electrical world today. Back when it was New, Mr. Edison was in competition with Mr. Westinghouse. Edison used a DC system that could not deliver power for just a few blocks distance. Mr Westinghouse had the system we use today, AC electricity, so it could be sent anywhere. If you were to go back there when this was being contested, Mr. Edison did everything he could to create Fear, in the public’s mind, that never existed. People were smarter then to see the value of the choice. You would think in this day of google, and libraries people would show more education on a subject such as the “Bathroom Myth” of the Republicans which is really a solution for a non extant problem, making the people that believe it ASSUMER’S. The definition of an assumer is to be pretentious, presumptuous, arrogant, and based without proof of any kind. How educated is one, to base their knowledge, on something without Proof????


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