Then and Now: Connections Between the Past and Present

HB 1557: Parental Rights In Education

Also know as the "Don't Say Gay" Bill, this piece of legislation serves as a way to codify punishment of  queer, transgender individuals. This throughline can be seen in Hannah's story as well. 

This bill and model policies guide are meant to prohibit conversations about identities outside of the cisgender, heteronormative binary. These pieces of legislation aim to silence trans individuals by policing learning materials, conversations, and books that subvert gender norms. This policing was evidenced in a majority of the newspapers that covered Hannah's being a witness in the Crawford case. Thomas Balch Library’s Black History Committee's work of centering displaced Black stories influenced and informed this project. Uncovering this history uncovers more experiences and stories as well as evidence for historical preservation and against developers wanting the land. In the same spirit of centering displaced stories, I wanted to ethically share Hannah’s story against an archive oversaturated with Black stories told through white supremacist gazes, and untold Black stories and experiences. Hannah Nokes and her life showcase the possibility for Black, trans women to grow old, to be respected, and take up space. 

Virginia Department of Education's 2022 Model Policies on the Privacy, Dignity, and Respect for All Students and Parents in Virginia Public Schools

Youngkin's policy targets transgender students. By only allowing faculty to refer to students with their name on file and/or nicknames "commonly associated with the name that appears in the student’s official record" (16), this piece of legislation silences trans folks and denies their existence.

By Leeana Norman

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