FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
DATE: October 9, 2015
CONTACT: Rep. Jonathan Brostoff, (414)708-9878
Representative Brostoff Speaks Out Against Offensive Attack on Transgender Rights
MADISON – Representative Jonathan Brostoff (D- Milwaukee) expressed deep concern with a GOP bill that would facilitate and perpetuate discrimination and an otherwise hostile environment within Wisconsin’s schools.
"This is the new focus for intolerant legislators in their attacks on Wisconsin’s LGBT+ community. Having recently lost their fight against marriage equality, Republicans now know both popular sentiment and the courts are against them telling our neighbors who they can love. Now they have shifted their focus to attacking our transgender youth," Representative Brostoff said.
Respondents to a survey reported on by the Williams Institute, UCLA School of Law found over 40% of people who are transgender have attempted suicide. This is in contrast with suicide attempts by 4.6% of the overall U.S. population and 10-20% of gay, lesbian, or bisexual adults. Within the past year at least one adult, a Milwaukee Public School teacher, and two Wisconsin teens, Cameron Langrell and Skylar Lee, have fallen to suicide after being bullied for their gender identities.
"This is a hate-filled and tragic attempt by the Republicans to shift focus away from their failed actions such as the WEDC scandal, refusing federal dollars for BadgerCare expansion, and the $250 million wound they inflicted on our UW system,” Brostoff continued. “This is despicable. It makes me sick, angry, and ashamed that this is the business our state is conducting. As with all children, especially populations that have been made to feel vulnerable and unsafe, we should be working to compassionately support them as they discover who they are and make their way through the world.”
A recent Canadian study found having supportive parents dropped the suicide rate in the transgender population by 57% and legal documentation consistent with their gender identity dropped the rate by 44%. It is reasonable to expect that having affirmation of who they are in school, such as access to the appropriate restroom or changing area, would similarly reduce this risk for youth who are transgender.
Representative Brostoff says he will continue to support our transgender neighbors across the state.