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Father Of Transgender Daughter Worries About Harassment, Unknowns After Election

Published: Tuesday, November 22, 2016 - 4:42pm
Updated: Tuesday, November 22, 2016 - 4:43pm
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Since Donald Trump won the presidential election earlier this month, reports have been circulating that calls to suicide hotlines from the LGBT community are up.

Some have concerns about Trump’s support of the controversial North Carolina law that would restrict transgender people from using the bathroom of their choice and Vice President-Elect Mike Pence’s signature on a "religious freedom" bill that was largely seen as targeting the LGBT community.

Robert Chevaleau, president of the Arizona Trans Youth and Parent Organization, said he was surprised by the results of the election and a little concerned mainly because there are so many unknowns now.

“Candidate Trump said a lot of things during the campaign” he said, “and nobody really has a good sense as to what is a policy, what is just his opinion, what is he going to follow through on.”

AZTYPO serves as a support group for parents and families of transgender kids, Chevaleau said. And, since the election, members of the group are voicing a lot of fear and anxiety, he said.

“We have one member who, she has an 8-year-old daughter who was just playing at the park, and she was being given a hard time by a couple of 12- and 13-year-old boys who were just riding by on their bike and just harassed,” he said. “That wouldn’t have happened a week and a half ago.”

Chevaleau is also the father of a transgender daughter, and he said he’s most worried about barriers in his daughter’s way.

“You want nothing but the best for your children, you want them to reach their highest and fullest potential” he said, “So, to see a barrier slammed down this fast and this quickly is very frustrating.”

One thing he said transgender families should do now, before the new administration takes office, is to make sure their gender is updated with the Social Security Administration and on things like passports and driver’s licenses.

But, for now, he said the most important thing he can do as a father is remain positive and hope for the best.

“Nobody knows, on either side of the spectrum, what’s going to happen, where things are going to go,” he said. “And if things start to go South, well, I think it’s OK to make your voice heard and say, ‘You know what? This isn’t fair and this isn’t right.’ ‘Here’s why it’s unfair, here’s why it’s not right.’ ”

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