Parker Belthuis is a trans Iowan and board member for the QueerTrans Project. In Iowa right now there are many anti-trans and anti-lgbt bills and laws being put in place. This is his message to the state officials.
Dear Iowan politicians,
My name is Parker Belthuis and I am an 18 year old transgender and queer person living in your state. I am a paraeducator and work at an elementry school in one of the first grade classrooms. I spend my good days helping my students learn and help with behaviors, on not good days I dodge physical aggression and big emotions. You can’t take it personally, my kids have had hard upbringings but we help shape them into wonderful members of society. However, some of my kids are unable to use the restroom by themselves. Thanks to you, I can no longer step into the restroom if there is an issue, I must call for another member of staff, someone who was assigned male at birth, to help my kids.
My little sister plays sports, so do all my cousins and friend’s siblings. We love to go watch them play at their schools during the year. Now, if I need to use the restroom, I must go out of my way to find a gender nutral restroom, missing big plays and hard work I paid to watch. What if the school doesn’t have a functional restroom for me to use? Must I drive to the nearest gas station to relieve myself? That is not right.
When I was 15 I came out to my friends and family, 5 months later I started they gender affirming healthcare that saved my life. How dare you take away a fundamental human right from our children. What are you teaching them? People are leaving the state. They will move elsewhere for their children because you have failed. You have failed the parents, you have failed the healthcare system, you have failed me.
Who are you afraid of? The 8 year old little boy who knows who he wants to be? The 17 year old girl that would rather be happy in her body than cry herself to sleep every night because you took her rights away, rights she can’t even vote for yet? Or are you afraid of me, the 18 year old that will speak up for myself and everyone around me? I’m not scared of you. They aren’t afraid of you. We aren’t going anywhere. We will get our healthcare, we will say our names, we will use the restrooms and play the sports. You will not get rid of us. You will have blood on your hands but we will not stand down.
Transgender, Queer, Here to stay.