“Your True Gender” President Jessica Lynn and Tranz Central Coast board member Mike Hughes will host “Dangerous Bathrooms,” a talk centered around free speech and transgender visibility, on Mar. 19 in Chumash Auditorium from 7 to 9 p.m. The evening will explore how “free speech has been subverted by the conservative right wing as a means to justify bully-rhetoric and disempower minorities, particularly the transgender community.”
Hughe’s lecture will “expose ‘free speech fundamentalism’ and propose a kinder and ultimately more effective way to communicate differences of opinion. Lynn will then spend an hour taking these issues out of the realm of rhetoric through her own inspirational life story,” as said on the Facebook event.
On Feb. 22, President Donald Trump revoked the Obama administration’s several protections of transgender and gender nonconforming students in public schools; in some states, students now are unable to use restrooms or lockers that don’t correspond with the sex on their birth certificate.
Lynn said that the repeal of Obama’s guidance is not about bathrooms — it’s a step toward isolating transgender students and the community at large.
“Do you know how difficult it is to start putting your ducks in a row in order to start your transition?” Lynn said. “It’s not just waking up one morning and saying you’re going to put on a dress so you can start going into the women’s restrooms. It’s not that easy.”
Lynn is a transgender woman, advocate and public speaker. She is the president and co-founder of Your True Gender, an educational group, “available for anyone who is transitioning into their true gender; with or without surgeries,” as said on the non-profit’s website.
When she transitioned in 2010, she lost parental rights over her youngest son in a multi-year court battle. The Texas court revoked her custody and removed her name off the son’s birth certificate, citing her “dangerous lifestyle” as potential harm to the child. Since 2015, she’s shared her story at over 125 different college campuses.
The event takes place just two weeks before International Transgender Day of Visibility, a main focus of the talk. The day is dedicated to celebrating the accomplishments and victories of transgender and gender nonconforming people while acknowledging work that is still needed to save trans lives.
The discussion is free and open to the public. There will be a Q&A portion at the end.