Statement against outing and harassment of a transgender minor and UW’s response

Earlier this month, anti-trans activist Riley Gaines publicly outed a transgender student, a minor, to her followers on Twitter/X. The student, who had verbally accepted a women’s volleyball scholarship to the UW (University of Washington) was harassed online by Riley Gaines, her followers, and the group ICONS, an anti-transgender group that attacks transgender girls and women in sports. Later that week, Riley Gaines posted on social media claiming that UW Volleyball had rescinded the scholarship.

The Green Party of Washington supports transgender people in all ways in society, sports included. If it is true that UW rescinded the scholarship, we call for an immediate reversal of this decision and an apology to the student. Otherwise, we believe this decision by the UW should be investigated as a Title IX violation against UW Volleyball.

It is apparent that Washingtonians and those who wish to come here must be protected from harassment and the prying eyes of states or individuals.

Just last week, transgender journalist Erin Reed broke news that Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is demanding medical records from Seattle Children’s Hospital for all patients who live in Texas. Ken Paxton is also requesting medical instruction to stop transition care for those patients, making it transparent the intent to do harm. Wisely, Washington passed a “Shield Law” last year that prevents the sharing of protected medical records such as transition or abortion care to states that restrict that care, which has, at least for now, prevented the sharing of private medical information.

Looking back at the Riley Gaines social media posts against the student, Riley attacks that the student and her parents somehow “hid” her transgender status from the coach, school, teammates, and other kids’ parents. It is important to understand that transgender status is medical information and should, as all medical information, be protected; expecting children to share their private medical history with anyone who might care is a perverse violation of the right to privacy — a right that too clearly has been insufficiently protected.

So then, the Green Party of Washington also calls on legislators to address gaps in “malicious disclosure” of private medical information as a form of harassment that should not be protected speech. Such legislation prohibiting malicious disclosure would serve to protect all who live or come to Washington from an individual or organization sharing private medical information, to similar effect as the law that recently stopped Texas from being able to demand that information.

Posted in News, Newsletter.