Transgender Rights in Iowa

New bills targeting transgender people

Kirsten Pierce

LGBTQ+ is a fantastic group of people that should be accepted in society. However, some people would disagree, this is shown in the new bills that are being considered by the Iowa legislature. The bills are specifically written to impact the lives of transgender people. The first bill states that if a school decides to teach anything about gender identity, then they also must include gender dysphoria, transition regret, and detransition. The second bill states that gender identity cannot be taught in kindergarten and it also cannot be taught in grades 1-6 without parent/guardian permission.

Senate file 167 by Carlin, Schultz, J. Taylor, Johnston, Klimesh, Sinclair, Rosenboom, and Shipley states, “The curriculum provided to a student in accordance with this subsection shall not include instruction relating to gender identity, as defined in section 216.2, unless the school district or accredited nonpublic school obtains the prior written consent of the student’s parent or guardian. If a parent or guardian does not provide written consent, a student may opt out of instruction relating to gender identity” (28-35). This actively demonstrates that students must have a parent/guardian’s permission to take a gender identity class. This could result in problems due to parents not agreeing with the concept of gender identity, then having their kid not take the class. This could be bad for the kid because they might be confused about their identity. So, this bill could be prohibiting students from learning bout themselves.

This senate file also states, “An accredited nonpublic school must meet the requirements of this subsection only if the nonpublic school offers a kindergarten program. The curriculum utilized for purposes of this subsection shall not include instruction relating to gender identity as defined in section 216.2” (9-15). This demonstrates that gender identity cannot be taught in Kindergarten. This is bad because there is a chance that younger kids might be confused because they do not feel like they are in the right body so, this bill is preventing these kids from not only learning about gender identity but also learning why they might not feel comfortable in their own body.

“I am disappointed that they are even considering making these bills. I wish I would have learned about gender identity when I was young, I feel if I did it would have made me more understanding of transgender people.” junior Ava Williams said.

House file 326 states,” If a school district offers curriculum that provides instruction or information related to gender identity…(it) must also include educational materials and references to gender dysphoria, the existence of transition regret and detransition, and the potential harm… of social and medical gender interventions” (3-8). This suggests that if gender identity is taught, then it also needs to include gender dysphoria (Discomfort that might take place after transitioning), transition regret (The feeling of regret after transitioning), and detransition (Reversal of the transition). I do believe that these should be taught, however, they should not be used as weapons against transitioning. If someone thinks that it would be best for them to transition, then they should transition.

“In the senate legislation states that social and emotional needs should be met and then goes on to specify that a certain group of humans should be concealed from public eye. This sabotages said social and emotional education those students would receive as well as creates a less safe environment for those students whose identities are being canceled in the curriculum.” GSA advisor Joseph Thering said.

These bills that are going through the Iowa legislature are going to affect the community, specifically transgender people and if these bills do pass, they are going to do more harm than good.

“As for the house legislation, it demonstrates a different form of ignorance if not conservative religious propaganda. It requires language no longer in use in medical or mental health fields to be included if consent for curriculum granted. Further, the language they require shows how little legislators know about the issue; they seem to believe that people proceed with gender confirmation without very, very thorough guidance from therapists and medical docter doctors.” Thering said.