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A bill aimed at transgender youth is expected to die in the state Senate later this week

Lawmakers in Richmond are considering bills aimed at transgender youth.

Delegate Dave LaRock is a Republican from Loudoun County who has a bill that would require school officials to alert parents when students are transitioning gender identities. On the House floor, he faced questions about how his bill defines biological sex.

"Mr. Speaker, I don't want to be trivial about this, but it brings to mind the interview of a Supreme Court justice," LaRock said. "I am not a biologist."

Virginia is one of many states where conservative Republicans are introducing hundreds of similar bills, a pattern that the Human Rights Campaign says is a deliberate attempt to silence transgender Americans and ultimately erase them from existing at all.

Kelly Carter Merrill is a parent of a transgender son in Hanover County.

"And just when he needs support the most, the school board ordered that all safe space stickers be removed from the schools," Merrill said. "So, either these school officials don't believe us when we explained the elevated suicide rates for trans kids or worse. Maybe they do, and this is their intention."

Senate Democrats are expected to reject LaRock's bill later this week.

This report, provided by Virginia Public Radio, was made possible with support from the Virginia Education Association.

Michael Pope is an author and journalist who lives in Old Town Alexandria.