Her parents first decided to seek advice from a pediatrician when she was two years old, after she asked: 'Mommy, when's the good fairy going to come with her magic wand and change, you know, my genitalia?The North Arlington Board of Education is set to join Carlstadt and East Rutherford as Southern Bergen County school districts with transgender student policies with the introduction of its own policy at its January meeting.However, the laws are very broad so the question becomes what is discrimination?Therefore, a policy may be needed to show school staffs, according to Potenza."If you're doing the wrong thing, inadvertently perhaps, that is conducive to bullying," said Aaron Potenza, director of programs for Garden State Equality, on why districts should take the next step and implement a policy in addition to abiding by existing laws.
"What we see is these younger people are more vulnerable and we want to create an atmosphere that is safe and affirming for them," Potenza said.
The best way to accommodate these students is to adhere to a policy that discusses respect, he said.
Actor Eddie Redmayne is also up for an Academy Award for his portrayal of transgender artist Lili Elbe in "The Danish Girl." The presence of transgender students in schools, regardless of district demographics, is common, Potenza said.
Current federal and state laws, including the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination and the Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights assert someone cannot be discriminated against based on their gender identity.
Over the past couple years, transgender issues and people have become more prominent.
In 2015 alone, several new television shows focused on transgender issues premiered including the reality television series "I Am Cait, I Am Jazz" and "Becoming Us," while other shows like "Transparent" and "Orange is the New Black" address the subject.