Opinion: Parents Censoring Trans Content Makes Things Worse For Everyone, Including Their Own Kids

Hazel Mewett, Staff Writer

The unfortunate reality of the society that we live in is that there are some people who will never accept transgender people, or LGBTQ+ people in general. Our fight for our humanity is ongoing, and looks like it will regrettably stay that way for the foreseeable future. I can’t change someone’s fundamental beliefs, and everyone is entitled to those beliefs, no matter how bad I may think they are. However, where I believe a line is crossed is when parents try to censor this material for everyone, including those who are not connected to the parent or their beliefs in any way. Censoring material is dangerous, no matter how insignificant it may seem at first. Not only this, but in censoring trans media, parents are failing their children by ineffectively preparing them for the real world and society outside their own house.

Firstly, censorship, specifically book bans in schools, is a big, big problem in some places. On paper, not letting kids read certain books with excessively mature subjects makes sense, and may sometimes be necessary for young groups of students. However, (and unfortunately to the surprise of some people), transgender people are not an “excessively mature subject” that merits the banning of a book or material. In banning a book about a trans person, parents are not only taking away the opportunity that they may have to educate themselves on the matter and learn how to be better people, but they are also taking that chance away from everyone else who may learn something new. There are so many people whose lives could be changed for the better by realizing that being LGBTQ+ is a normal and valid thing and that there’s nothing wrong with it. Taking that chance away from people, regardless of beliefs, isn’t right. Knowledge is to be shared and communally valued, not kept away or shunned due to individual beliefs.

Secondly, and perhaps more importantly, is how this lets down the children of parents who keep trans media out of the picture. Sheltering kids from something that is an objective truth doesn’t make that thing disappear. Transgender people are real, and are just that— people. The right to dehumanize trans people and pretend they don’t exist belongs to no one. What happens when a child, who has been raised in a household that doesn’t think being LGBTQ+ is a real thing, goes out into the real world and is forced to confront reality that goes against everything they’ve been told to learn by bigoted family members? 

It’s not always the child’s fault that they are ill prepared for the real world, as in some cases they didn’t know any better and just learned what they were taught, the problem lies in the guardians who deprive them of the resources to educate themselves and form their own beliefs. This is a real thing that happens. All of this is real. To try and pretend being transgender is a media fad, to try and censor trans media so people can’t access it, to try and withhold knowledge that is objective truth is inexcusable. Again, knowledge is to be shared, not to be hidden due to not liking what that knowledge is.

This isn’t just for transgender people, either. This pertains to the LGBTQ+ community as a whole, to systemic racism, to even the nature of the institution of slavery (as sad as it is that that is a topic being censored or taught incorrectly in some places). All of these things were real, and that isn’t going to change. No one should pretend it doesn’t, and even less so attempt to deprive the resources and media that prove this from other people, including the children that will come to be the next generation and not know that being trans is valid and okay as a result.