Statement from Lieutenant Governor Kounalakis’s Transgender Advisory Council on the Latest Votes by California School Districts to Out Transgender Students 

Friday, September 8, 2023 (916) 445-8994

Sacramento Lieutenant Governor Eleni Kounalakis’s Transgender Advisory Council released the following statement in response to votes by Rocklin Unified School District and Orange Unified School District to mandate teachers, principals, and counselors notify parents or guardians if their child is transgender. This decision follows similar measures adopted by Chino Valley and Murrieta Valley Unified school boards.

“The proposed policies by Rocklin Unified School District and Orange Unified School District pose grave dangers to transgender students. It is a travesty that the exploitation of transgender students is being used as a political ploy, especially in our own state. Statistics show that 78% of transgender youth report experiencing discrimination or bullying. Exposing youth to harm is not a policy issue, it’s a human rights issue. 

“It is crucial to understand the profound impact of outing a transgender and non-binary student, especially in environments that should be safe havens. Transgender adolescents face significant challenges, with 73% reporting experiencing psychological abuse and 39% reporting instances of physical abuse, often from unsupportive parents. Prematurely revealing a child’s transgender identity before they are emotionally prepared can exacerbate these issues. This situation carries grave implications for LGBTQ+ youth without supportive families, intensifying their isolation and potentially worsening their mental health and overall welfare. Notably, in 2022, there was a distressing 54% surge in hate crimes targeting the LGBTQ+ community in the United States. 

“California has a history of enacting policies and laws that are supportive of transgender individuals, particularly when it comes to protecting the rights of transgender children and youth. We urge reconsideration of this policy in the best interest of all students. We advocate for a collective effort to foster an environment where students are protected, schools are safe and affirming, and teachers and staff are able to be trusting adults in their students’ lives.” 

Lieutenant Governor Eleni Kounalakis established the first in the nation Transgender Advisory Council in September of 2021 to elevate the issues faced by the transgender community across California. The council comprises nine members who are transgender activists, advocates, and elected officials from across the state. View the Press Release for more information about the council. 

The Lt. Governor’s Transgender Advisory Council includes the following members:  

  • Co-Chair Ebony Ava Harper 
  • Co-Chair Evan Michael Minton 
  • Bamby Salcedo 
  • Lisa Middleton 
  • Zizi Bandera 
  • Khilynn Fowler 
  • Blossom Brown 
  • Drian Juarez 
  • Rosio Leon Velasco-Stoll