A Summary of Youngkin’s Recent Legislation on the LGBTQ+ Community


World Economic Forum / Manuel Lo

Governor Glenn Youngkin. Photo used under SPLC Guidelines.

Grady Rajagopalan, Staff Writer

A few months after the passing of Youngkins’ 2022 model policies, tensions are riding high in the Commonwealth. In mid September, the Youngkin administration released new legislation entitled, “2022 Model Policies on the Privacy, Dignity, and Respect for all Students and Parents in Virginia’s Public Schools”. Despite the embellished legal phraseology, it does anything but show privacy, dignity or respect to public school students. The point of this legislation is to rip the liberty of self identification from the child to the parents/legal guardians. 


Glenn Youngkin, the millionaire Trumpist serving as Virginia’s 74th Governor, is a dangerous individual. In the footsteps of other right wing state Governors like the notorious Greg Abbott or Ron Desantis, he is stripping LGBTQ+ students of their protections in schools. Or, as he phrased it in his model policies:

Parents are in the best position. . . to determine (a) what names, nicknames, and/or pronouns, if any, shall be used for their child by teachers and school staff while their child is at school, (b) whether their child engages in any counseling or social transition at school that encourages a gender that differs from their child’s sex, or (c) whether their child expresses a gender that differs with their child’s sex while at school. 

This essentially gives parents the ability to decide their child’s gender and pronouns. The Charlottesville City school district has remained firmly noncompliant with these policies. Dr. Gurley, district superintendent, claimed, “[this legislation is] so ugly . . . all students deserve the right to be protected and feel included”. He went on to say that his main goal is “to make sure all of our LGBTQ+ students, staff members, [and] everyone [else] feels included.” Local politicians have also protested. Charlottesville and Albemarle state Delegate Sally Hudson tweeted that “he knows it’s cruel and shameful”. He understands the problems that arise when isolating one of the most already isolated groups in the building, but he’s pandering to his base for votes.


Youngkin has continually aimed to create a school system based around exclusion, homogeneity, and uniformity of both identity and thought. Recently he released a draft proposing that the Virginia Department of Education erase curriculum about racial antagonisms until middle or high school, erase the African empire of Mali from the third grade curriculum, erase LGBTQ+ history, and more. Delegate Hudson said in an interview with NBC 29, “What’s unfortunate is that politicians are trying to turn this into a tug of war between teachers and parents, when it’s really about empowering and entrusting students to share this news with a supportive network at their own pace”. 


Youngkin will remain in power for the next three years. Although school districts and students largely stand against his standards, he can and will continue to try to politicize school and education in an attempt to breed uniformity. It is essential that Virginians vote for anti-Youngkin local/state politicians and use their voice to speak out against his oppression. We cannot allow him to change our history and existence to please his standards.