Louisville’s Transgender Students: What Happens When Schools Are Accepting

In the past week, we’ve heard from  some of Louisville’s transgender students—about coming out, about “passing,” and the importance of communication in schools.

Today, we hear from Kaleb Fischbach, a duPont Manual High School student, about what happens when a school is accepting of who he is. Kaleb says he uses moments in school to help education other students about what it means to be transgender.

He says Manual students have been “awesome.”

“I’ve really had no problems,” he says. “There have been occasional people who have come up and said something they may not have realized was offensive but I kind of see those as opportunities to educate people if they don’t realize that something they said wasn’t nice.”

This has become a more common practice around the country as schools decide how to interpret new federal guidance in Title IX language that extends protects to transgender students, but doesn’t say how to do it.

There are plenty of choices schools need to make when a transgender student comes out in school. And many teachers and educators are learning about it through the students. 

“Sometimes they just don’t know and that’s the time you can take to explain to them and help them learn something,” Fischbach says.

Since the Atherton High story became public, the Louisville Youth Group—which hosts meet ups for LGBT students—has seen more students participate, one member says.

If you missed any of our series on Louisville’s transgender students, you can find them here:

On Tuesday, we learned from Henry Brousseau what coming out at school looked like for him.

On Wednesday, we learned from Max. St. John why communication with school staff is important.

On Thursday, we learned from Charlotte Rose Langer what it means to “pass.”

On Friday, we concluded the week explaining how schools such as Atherton are testing the waters of anti-discrimination policies in support of transgender students.

And WFPL’s Strange Fruit podcast has asked for others’ stories of being transgender students. Responses can be left on Twitter and Facebook.

Devin Katayama

Devin Katayama host middays for WFPL and reports on education and other Louisville issues.

@DevinWFPL

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