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'If I Were a Student in South Dakota, Chances Are I Would Not Survive Into Adulthood.'


#1

'If I Were a Student in South Dakota, Chances Are I Would Not Survive Into Adulthood.'

Chase Strangio

Earlier today, ACLU attorney Chase Strangio wrote a note to South Dakota legislators, urging them not to sign SB 1008, which targets transgender students in South Dakota. They didn’t listen. Now it’s up to South Dakota Governor Dennis Daugaard to veto SB 1088 and make sure the government stops hurting vulnerable kids.


#2

Thanks Chase for sharing your story, and your choice to pursue a career to help others.


#4

As if youth deemed to be "other" by their peers do not already have enough mountains to climb and obstacles to face, especially in states like South Dakota. Now, adults like Omdahl are abusing their power as elected officials to discriminate, segregate, and underwrite all out abuse and bullying, which SB 1088 (if passed and enacted) will certainly elicit and condone. I hope the ACLU, the Justice Department, and the US Attorney General intercede if this malicious legislation passes, is signed into law by the governor, and enacted. It would be a case that could very likely make its way to the Supreme Court (and good thing Scalia won't be around). SB1088 violates the Civil Rights Act of 1964, no question.

I applaud Mr. Strangio's advocacy and hope that his letter to the SD legislators opens their eyes and touches their innate human kindness.


#5

Conservatives always do what is best for their big popular ideology even when harms minorities for no good reason. I understand the author's pain for I too am transgender and I am afraid to go outside dressed the way I want partially because i cannot take it for granted that I will be able to use the restroom.


#6

'If I Were a Student in South Dakota, Chances Are I Would Not Survive Into Adulthood.'
If you had grown up where I did (Pennsylvania) you probably wouldn't have made it to adulthood either--but not because of your "sexual preference". Those we also had (and have) and other than keeping to themselves, it was not a big deal.
I am not sure whether your parents or you decided on the name "Chase Strangio" but it makes Johnny Cash's famous song "A boy named Sue" look tame by comparison. Better you were named Elwood Klinghoffer or maybe Nigel Wurmnest, than Chase Strangio. Such a name sounds like an act from a carnival side show or a cruel joke perpetrated on you.
By the way I agree with your stand against the South Dakota proposed legislation, the proposed law was a time waster thought up by people with no clue of the more urgent matters facing their constituents.


#7

You understand nothing about the topic. Being transgender is not simply a matter of attraction, it is something where you must control every facet of your body, including the sound of your voice and even the way you sit to keep your secret. Keeping it secret is pretty difficult when people can tell you are different the moment you walk in the room.


#8

Actually you make my point better than I did. If, as you say, "being transgender is not simply a matter of attraction, it is something where you must control every facet of your body, including the sound of your voice and even the way you sit to keep your secret", then why would you call attention to yourself with a name like "Chase Strangio"?
This person is not just conflicted about their gender identity, with a name like "Chase Strangio" they are also trying to call attention to themselves as being "different". Well and good, but then don't turn around and blame society for your inability to "fit in".


#9

How very mean-spirited of you...it is readily apparent that although you use the moniker "Poet,' you do not have a poet's sensibility, sensitivity, or serenity.


#10

You would rather focus on somebodies name than the story they have to tell. But what about the thousands of other people with the same story most of which have jokes that cannot be made into puns. Seriously this is a progressive forum not a YouTube comments section.


#11

This is the type of thing that this site needs more of, the reality of what it is like to live in this country. We have stories on here talking about the issues of the day and what politicians are doing but then it devolves into big words and ideology that rarely takes into account what it is like for an individual to live in america or what individuals can expect from a new system. Don't just tell me LGBTQ issues are a big deal in this country show me what it is like for them. I want everyone on the spectrum to impart your experiences here because these issues are to large to speak about abstractly.


#12

Trot out the "you are a bitter, hateful human being" card if it makes you feel better, but you still are overlooking my main point which is:
Entertainers, some professional athletes, and media celebrities are the ones who usually adopt unusual monikers because they call the attention to them which they so desperately crave.
Whatever feminine birth name Chase had, his "coming out" gave him the chance to start anew and adopt a more conventional name (first and last) and with that "freedom" he chose the moniker that he did.


#13

And i will point out again that you are fixating on one unimportant issue instead of talking about the one at hand.


#14

Julia--
I have focused on both the story of Chase (the stress of conflicted gender identity) and the cruelty of immature adolescents and adults towards people thus conflicted. I have also focused on his choice of a name for his new identity that seems designed to call attention to himself when the thrust of most such gender conflicted individuals is to be able to be left alone to live their lives. Such a dichotomy indicates that "coming out" has not resolved the conflict with which he has spent his entire life.
I will also remind you that I agree with the argument he makes against the South Dakota law which was the subject of this article and stated so above.
Seriously Julia your litmus test for allowable commentary on CD sounds more like Joe McCarthy, William F.Buckley, or Rush Limbaugh than "progressive".


#15

I appreciate that but i don't think its Orwellian to ask you to stay on topic when we discuss something important to both me and to our society as a whole, albeit in different ways. And for the past 3 hours you have only discussed this persons name which is not relevant to this topic.


#16

Chase Strangio is no longer a kid in high school, he's an adult working for the ACLU, so I guess he can handle any negative reactions to his name. Chase is OK. Strangio may actually be his real last name? In any case, his name is peripheral to the discussion at hand.