Researcher of Denial of Equal Access to Restrooms for Transgender Persons Can Talk About Recent Presidential Actions

Article ID: 670100

Released: 24-Feb-2017 8:05 AM EST

Source Newsroom: Georgia State University

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  • Credit: Credit: Seattle Office of Civil Rights, City of Seattle, Wash.

    All-Gender Restroom sign from the Seattle Office of Civil Rights. The city offers this sign for businesses in order to comply with a new ordinance aimed at in increasing restroom access for transgender and gender diverse individuals.

  • Credit: Carolyn Richardson, Georgia State University

    Kristie Seelman, Assistant Professor, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University

A researcher who found that transgender college students who are denied equal access to restroom facilities are more likely to have attempted suicide is available to speak about the recent reversal of Obama Administration-era protections for transgender primary and secondary school students.

Kristie Seelman is an assistant professor in the School of Social Work at Georgia State University’s Andrew Young School of Policy Studies. She is available directly at kseelman@gsu.edu. For further assistance in reaching Seelman, contact Jeremy Craig at jcraig@gsu.edu or 404-413-1374.

“This week’s letter from the U.S. Department of Education and the U.S. Department of Justice eliminates the Obama administration’s guidance regarding the importance of allowing transgender students to access bathrooms appropriate to their gender identity,” Seelman said. “Instead, the new guidance prioritizes allowing states and local school districts to set bathroom policy for transgender students.”

Research indicates that when transgender students are not treated like all other students, including in accessing school bathrooms, and are more likely to face health risks, she explained.

“In research I’ve conducted based on one of the largest surveys of transgender individuals in the U.S., transgender individuals who were kept from accessing gender-appropriate bathrooms in college were more likely to have attempted suicide compared to transgender people who had no problem accessing college bathrooms,” Seelman said.

This held true even after accounting for on-campus harassment or assault—indicating that bathroom access is important in and of itself in relation to student well-being.

“Additionally, evidence suggests that transgender people of color, those with disabilities, and those living in rural areas are at greatest risk for being kept out of gender-appropriate college bathrooms, highlighting the greater likelihood for discrimination among these subgroups of transgender students,” she said.

To read the study, visit:

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/280026618_Transgender_Adults%27_Access_to_College_Bathrooms_and_Housing_and_the_Relationship_to_Suicidality.

If you need help in accessing the study, contact Jeremy Craig, public relations coordinator, at jcraig@gsu.edu or 404-413-1374.

For more about Seelman, visit http://aysps.gsu.edu/profile/kristie-seelman/.


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