Addressing the elephant in Washington’s government.


Art by Ava Fimmano

The recent passing of Florida’s Parental Rights in Education bill, better known as the “Don’t Say Gay” bill, along with Governor Greg Abbot’s order for the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services to investigate gender-affirming care in Transgender youth as child abuse has sparked outrage among many. Many people of  generally liberal states (like Washington) may be up to date on the latest targeted legislative move to come out of the politically conservative states,  but what about LGBT-targeted legislation in Washington?

If WA HB1960 was brought up, most would not know anything about it. The bill states, “An inmate may not be housed in a correctional facility that primarily houses persons of a different biological sex than that of the inmate if the inmate has previously been convicted of a sex offense,” the bill continues “against a victim whose biological sex is the same as those persons who are primarily housed in that correctional facility” While it may seem to be in the interest of people’s safety, any bill advocating for displacement of people based on their assigned gender at birth would endanger transgender individuals at large. 

Washington also had its own proposed version of Tennessee ban on transgender people playing in the sport alligned with the gender they identify as in the form of WA HB1556, which would require students to provide their birth certificate in order to participate in non-coed sports; the bill states that it intends to “prohibit male students from competing with and against female students in athletic activities with separate classifications for male and female students… For the purposes of this section, ‘male students’ means students whose sex assigned at birth, as evidenced by the student’s birth certificate, was male.” This, like the previous bill, was dead in committee because under title IX of the U.S. Department of Education Policy for addressing  transgender students (which applies to all schools that receive federal funding), it states that transgender students not only have a right to their privacy and a right to be part of spaces aligned with their gender (restrooms, lockerooms, sports, clubs, etc.) but also, even if anti-trans legislation is passed, “Schools that refuse to follow Title IX can face serious consequences from the federal government, even if they are relying on a contrary state law,” according to the National Center for Transgender Equity.


 Even at Garfield, anti-trans notions move forward. Like the all-gender bathroom on the second floor being closed for weeks at a time after alleged repeated misuse. It is important to note that misuse of public restrooms is a widespread issue and the consistent closing of the only all-gender bathroom in school, whether intentional or not, represents a larger issue of the punishment not fitting the crime. When calling out bigotry in legislation, it is important to first look inward and address the issues affecting the local community because voicing disapproval at the actions of others while doing nothing to help communities right in front of you, helps no one.