Maine trans woman’s TED Talk goes viral

Nicole Maines, the young woman whose family won a landmark case before the Maine Supreme Judicial Court to protect transgender children from discrimination in bathroom use and other public accommodations, recently gave a talk at TEDxSMCC that seems perfectly timed for the national cultural and political moment.

In the talk, Maines describes how the trouble began when a male student at her middle school was prodded by his Christian activist grandfather into following her into the female restroom, where he declared to her face, “My grand-pappy says we don’t have to have any faggots in our school.”

That encounter sparked a difficult period for Maines and her family, similar to that experienced by many transgendered students across the country, forcing them to move across the state and eventually ending in vindication through the courts.

“Acceptance at home is fundamental, yes, but frankly it’s just not enough,” says Maines, speaking about her childhood experience. “Trans youth, like most young people, spend the majority of their time in school. If you spent Monday through Friday from eight to three being told that you weren’t OK, that you were wrong, how are you supposed to think otherwise?”

Amidst a national conversation begun by the passage of HB2, the video of Maines explaining what it’s like to grow up trans and be the victim of exactly the kind of  discrimination now enshrined in North Carolina law has shot up to more than 50,000 views.

The issue is also still a flashpoint in Maine, with Governor Paul LePage continuing rhetorical and policy attacks on transgender children and taking extra-constitutional action to ensure his Education Commissioner doesn’t have to face public questioning on his anti-trans views.

 

Comments

You might also like

fair wages

Gov. LePage, angry at legislature, threatens to cut Drugs for the Elderly program

Maine Governor Paul LePage announced on Monday that, due to a refusal of legislative leaders to call a special session to reconsider certain legislation, he will use an executive order

federal

Mainers plan to meet Trump with peaceful protest

Mainers are planning to make sure a visit by Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump to Portland this Thursday is met with a show of opposition to his candidacy, his racist

food

We have a chance to stop the TPP

In just a few short days, the United States and 11 Pacific Rim nations will sign a disastrous, job-killing free trade agreement. The Trans-Pacific Partnership is a massive giveaway to