A transgender high school student’s question for Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R), who has rolled back protections for trans students, got a dodge for the ages at a CNN town hall event on Thursday night.
The student, who goes by Niko, noted they’re a transgender man and pressed Youngkin on his anti-trans policies, including proposals that would limit trans students’ participation in athletics and usage of bathrooms.
“Do you think the girls in my high school would feel comfortable sharing a restroom with me?” asked Niko.
Without answering yes or no, Youngkin swerved into touting his belief in strong parent-child relationships.
“I believe first, when parents are engaged with their children, you can make good decisions together,” he said. “I also think there are lots of students involved in this decision.”
He went on to call for more school plumbing infrastructure, including gender-neutral facilities “so people can use the bathroom that they, in fact, are comfortable with.”
He claimed his policy on sports is clear and noncontroversial, and supports progress made for “women in sports.”
“Again, I think these are very difficult discussions and I am very, very glad to see you and your dad here together,” said Youngkin as CNN’s cameras showed the two appearing to be disappointed by the response.
“Your transgender policies require students play on the sports teams and use the restrooms that correspond with their sex assigned at birth. . Look at me, I am a transgender man. Do you think the girls in my high school would feel comfortable sharing a restroom with me? “ pic.twitter.com/d8DST7G5tW
— Acyn (@Acyn) March 10, 2023
Twitter users noted Niko’s “dubious expression” and criticized Youngkin for avoiding the student’s question.
“Word salad. Speech filler. Stumble. Filler. Thank you.”
— Neil Rockind | נַפְתָּלִי (@neilrockindlaw) March 10, 2023
I kept waiting for Youngkin to actually answer the question…I mean, really answer the question. He never does. Youngkin brings up the idea of having a “separate” bathroom facility, but he never answers the question! The young man keeps his composure–don’t know if I could!
— Tanzia Mill 💙💛 (@TanziaMill) March 10, 2023
Brave young man.
Coward old man.
Youngkin didn’t answer his question.
But! He met his father!
— Kim Eckert🌻 (@akim_eckert) March 10, 2023
Well that’s a big round-about with a non-answer!
— kathleen jones (@kathlee13213897) March 10, 2023
With fancy footwork like that, Glen should be on Dancing With The Stars. Maybe just a tap dance solo.
— Michael E. (@MnMike55408) March 10, 2023