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Trans Teen Expertly Trips Up GOP Virginia Gov. With Blunt Question During Town Hall On Live TV

Gov. Glenn Youngkin gave a non-answer after a trans student named Niko pressed him on his anti-trans policies surrounding student athletes and bathroom usage.

Screenshot of trans teen confronting Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin at townhall

When a transgender high school student asked Republican Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin a question relating to anti-trans policies in schools, the Governor dodged the question and gave a response further confirming his transphobia.

Youngkin began serving as the state's Governor on January 15, 2022, and wasted no time repealing protections for transgender students in Virginia schools.

Under his policies introduced last fall, transgender students in the state would be required to use restrooms and participate in sports teams and other programs corresponding to their gender assigned at birth.

Youngkin's guidelines additionally make it difficult for trans students to change their names and gender at school.

At Thursday night's town hall event hosted by CNN, titled, “The War on Education," a student named Niko–who identifies as a transgender man–called out Youngkin's support of his anti-trans "model policies."

Niko than asked Youngkin this fairly easy "yes" or "no" question.

“Do you think the girls in my high school would feel comfortable sharing a restroom with me?

Instead of answering his question directly, the evasive Governor praised the importance of strong parent-children relationships.

You can watch a video here.

Youngkin first lauded Niko and his father for attending the event together because it was "really important."

He then espoused:

“I believe first, when parents are engaged with their children, you can make good decisions together.
"I also think there are lots of students involved in this decision.”

The Governor did address the school bathroom situation but it was one that was irrelevant to Niko's question.

"We try very hard to accommodate students," said Youngkin, adding:

“We need gender-neutral bathrooms so people can use a bathroom that they, in fact, are comfortable with."

When it comes to sports participation, Youngkin believed it wasn't controversial at all.

“I don’t think that biological boys should be playing sports with biological girls."

"There's been decades of efforts in order to gain opportunities for women in sports, and it's just not fair," he said, doubling down on his stance.

“I think that’s pretty, that’s noncontroversial, and something that I think is pretty well understood.”
Youngkin concluded with:
“Again, I think these are very difficult discussions and I am very, very glad to see you and your dad here together."
The Twitter clip ended with Niko and his father–who was sitting in the audience–both looking let down by the Governor's response.
People shared some thoughts about Youngkin's sidestepping the question.

On Thursday night, Geoff Wetrosky–the Campaign Director at the Human Rights Campaign (HRC)–bashed Youngkin's town hall speech.

Wetrosky issued a statement following the town hall, saying.

“Tonight, Glenn Youngkin once again claimed that he believes that ‘parents matter.’ In reality, he only cares about some parents."
"He does not care about parents of LGBTQ+–particularly transgender–students, who have been consistently under attack in Virginia and across the country."

Wetrosky continued:

“He said that there is no room for bullying or harassment in Virginia’s schools, but his own policies only further marginalize and isolate transgender students, creating more stigma and more discrimination against an already vulnerable population."
"His extremist, anti-LGBTQ+ positions should have no place in Virginia, or this country.”

So far this year, the HRC tracked 100 anti-trans bills that criminalize trans youth having access to gender-affirming healthcare.

Four of these bills have already been enacted into law by Tennessee, Mississippi, South Dakota, and Utah.

The HRC also noted the year marked the most bathroom bans filled than in prior years in addition to 80 curriculum censorship bills and 30 anti-drag show bills.

HRC maintained these measures were not driven by constituent demands but were part of a coordinated effort driven by "well-funded, powerful interests and promoted by a tight network of anti-LGBTQ+ forces."

They added:

"These groups peddle in fear and pit people against each other to marginalize and punish LGBTQ+ people and especially transgender children."