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Mother of transgender girl says gender rights vital

Joy Stoelting is a mother of a transgender daughter. (KATU Photo)

The rights of transgender students may soon change.

An initiative put in place by the Obama administration allowed public school students to use the bathroom matching their gender identity.

But the Trump administration ended that on Wednesday.

“It’s hard to be a reassuring parent and relieve the worries that my kids have,” mother of a transgender daughter Joy Stoelting said.

Stoelting is the mother of two beautiful little girls, one of them, happens to be transgender.

“She started telling us when she was two who she was. It took my husband and I time to understand that we didn't have a son, we have a beautiful daughter,” Stoelting said.

Ella is now 8 years old and attending Portland Public Schools, where her mom says those gender rights are vital to Ella's life.

“It's very emotional and it shouldn't be, I just want my kid to live her life and be respected and accepted,” Stoelting said.

Stoelting says she struggles to understand why what bathroom her daughter goes into is a problem.

“Whether you are transgender or not we all go for relief, and the irony is this is taking away relief in so many ways, it’s really sad,” Stoelting said.

Oregon law protects transgender students, so if transgender guidelines change nationally here in Oregon, Ella can still use the bathroom of her choice.

But Joy says, it’s not enough to protect only kids in Oregon.

“We are OK, but we need to speak out for those that are not sharing in that experience,” Stoelting said.

She says for all kids these rights are life and death.

“It’s just as important as her education is. We want her to go to school to learn and be a part of society, and if she has to focus on or be anxious or stressed about where she has to go to the bathroom, such a basic function, it’s ridiculous,” Stoelting said.

We reached out to a number of President Trump supporters for their take but did not hear back.

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