To the Editor:
The letter is also addressed to members of the Princeton Civil Rights Commission, members of the Princeton Council, and Mayor Lempert.
The Bayard Rustin Center for Social Justice wants to thank and applaud Princeton’s Civil Rights Commission for recommending inclusive workplace policies to the City Council, including gender neutral restrooms. Such principles are not only in keeping with our state’s strong civil liberties values as demonstrated by New Jersey’s Law Against Discrimination, specifically in public accommodations (NJSA 10:5-12), but implementation of such literally saves lives as well.
In 2018, a study from The American Pediatric Association determined that suicide rates among transgender and non-binary youth were alarmingly high. This is a sad but logical truth as we currently have a nation that is both structured and strictured in such a way that our youth, struggling to determine their identity, are marginalized at every corner.
Our kids face these difficulties daily — whether it be in the classroom, in their homes, or out in their communities, and also when facing use of a public restroom. Unrecognized, unidentified… unnamed. Not the name they know to be true; not the identity with which they were born. Rightful name identification results in lower depression, reduction of suicidal ideation, and a decrease of suicidal behavior. When trans youth hear their names, have their identities confirmed and recognized, their chances of committing suicide go down 56 percent.
When we make our world more inclusive, we save lives.
Thank you, Princeton, for recognizing, respecting, and indeed loving all our beautifully diverse people and the communities to which they belong.
Bayard Rustin Center for Social Justice