LISTEN: Georgia Senate Republicans passed a bill Tuesday that requires transgender kids to use the school bathroom that is consistent with their sex at birth, not their gender identity. Kim Siders, mother of a trans child, spoke with GPB's Peter Biello about how the bill, if signed into law, would change her child's life.

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Georgia Senate Republicans passed a bill Tuesday that requires transgender kids to use the school bathroom that is consistent with their sex at birth, not their gender identity. Proponents say it's meant to keep kids safe. But opponents say it makes trans kids less safe. Kim Siders of Atlanta has been testifying against the bill. Her daughter is trans. Thursday is the last day for the Georgia House to take action on this bill. And as lawmakers consider their next moves, Siders spoke with GPB’s Peter Biello about how this bill would impact her child.

Peter Biello: You testified against this bill when it was being debated in the House. Why did you decide to go to the Capitol and speak about it?

Kim Siders: Well, I'm a parent, and first and foremost, I am, you know, worried about my child's safety and their mental health. And I'm trying to do everything I can to protect them.

Peter Biello: If this bill about the use of bathrooms becomes law, how will this change your daughter's experience in her school?

Kim Siders: It's so hard. You know, right now my child lives as a girl. She has girlfriends. And so for her to not be able to go to the bathroom where the other girls are, where she is safe — can you imagine somebody who looks like a girl and who uses female pronouns and who, in all other ways, is living as a girl at school were to go into the boys' bathroom? And that's really, you know, an uncomfortable and potentially dangerous situation. And it excludes her being able to just go to the bathroom in between classes when you have three minutes. She wouldn't be able to get to some single-use teacher bathroom on another hallway on a big campus. Like, it would be very logistically challenging and painful, but also just alienating from the other girls.

Peter Biello: In arguing against this bill, Democrat Sen. Josh McLaurin said the bill, as written, would encourage other young people to stigmatize trans children, that they'll see what their lawmakers are doing and they'll — they'll feel emboldened to, to act out. Do you agree with that sentiment?

Kim Siders: Absolutely. You know, there was a high school student in Oklahoma, who was severely beaten after being bullied for months because they were using the girls' bathroom, which is — they were forced to use. The girls in the bathroom were not accepting, and they bullied this kid and they beat this kid. And the next day she killed herself.

Peter Biello: Are you referring to Nex Benedict?

Kim Siders: Yeah. Nex Benedict. Othering children. Stigmatizing them. Separating them from their friends because of this identity certainly sends a message that there's something wrong with them. What I — you know, what I tried to tell the legislators when we were at that committee meeting is that, you know, my child feels themselves to be a girl. They are not a boy dressing up as a girl to get into the girls' bathroom. That's not what they're doing. And there's no evidence that transgender people are doing anything in bathrooms that they shouldn't be doing. Just the fact that these bills are out in the public domain, it creates a very hostile environment where kids are more likely to be targeted.

Peter Biello: Well, Kim Siders, I appreciate you taking the time to speak with me and share your story and that of your daughter. Thank you very much.

Kim Siders: Thank you, Peter. I appreciate the opportunity.