Why are the Republican legislators in the United States of America so hell-bent on ensuring that the trans youth in the country stay discriminated? Their newly issued bills target lines of health, and school sports. The doctors are now barred from providing the trans-youth with gender-related medical treatment. To add to that, the bills directed towards school sports bars students from playing on teams they identify with.
Chase Strangio, a transgender-rights lawyer said that if the proposed laws were enacted, “would bring devastating harms to the transgender community”. The lawyer works with the American Civil Liberties Union.
Medical Barring for Trans-Youth
The suicide rate is already pretty high among the transgender community. And Strangio warns that the medical ban could trigger suicide rates among the trans students who seek to transition. The bill is still pending in Colorado, Florida, Missouri, Oklahoma, South Carolina, and South Dakota. Sadly, is all likely to surface in many other states.
Unsurprisingly, the conservative groups like the Alliance Defending Freedom and Eagle Forum endorse the bills. Gayle Ruzicka, an activist who works with the Eagle Forums Utah Chapter said, “We’ve got lots of legislators working on this. “We don’t let this happen to children.”
The Trevor Project, which is one of the better-renowned youth suicide prevention services had their medical director speak about the bill. Expressing dismay, Dr. Alexis Chavez, a transgender psychiatrist said, “They would force doctors to make an untenable decision and could result in their imprisonment for providing best-practice medical care”. Adding that the bills could deprive the trans-youth of a treatment that can save a life.
Decide when you are an Adult
And if you even for a second wondered why the bill is being drafted, here is what the Republic Rep. Brad Daw said.
“We want to do what we think is reasonable practice, which is put off that kind of one-way ticket decision until the youth is an adult.”
The Utah legislator also said that he accepts Eagle Forum’s request to draft the bill. Though the bill would ban surgeries and hormone therapy for minors, it would permit the usage of puberty blockers, the medication that can put puberty on pause. And medical steps of transitioning are apparently what concerns Daw. Even though he claims to be sensitive and respectful to transgender kids and their families.
But the lack of access to the medical steps is mortifying for many transgender kids and their families. Robyn Rumsey of Roy, from Utah has children who came out to her as transgender at the age of 12.
She said, “As parents we were completely thrown, to say the least,” she said.
Robyn Rumsey’s son, Dex Rumsey initiated the transition with short hair and boy’s clothes. And eventually used puberty blockers and later testosterone. Dex is now 15 and a happily thriving person. And Robyn says that it was not a decision that was taken lightly. And the family is actually considering surgery later in this year.
In retrospect, Dex considered suicide before coming to the family. Now with the bills in place, Robyn rightly worries that if the hormones are unaccessible, Dex might undergo the same thought processes again. Consequently, when Dex learned about the possibility of the ban, it sent him to a panic and a sleepless night said Robyn. She added, “I know that it would be a life or death situation for my son. We would be desperate to find help and medication for him”.
And Dex said that starting the hormone therapy has been the happiest he has been in his life. He said,
“I was never comfortable under my own skin. I always felt wrong, disgusting and I hated myself. These hormones have allowed me to feel comfortable with who I am. It’s allowed me to be happier. I don’t hate myself, I’m not depressed, I don’t feel suicidal anymore”.
Moreover, Dex added that if the law were to pass, he would want to leave the state. “I don’t think they realize the damage these types of things are causing,” he said.
Finally, this means that the state leaders must seriously consider this aspect of medical procedures for trans youth before they draft and submit the bill in the session.
Play As You Identify
To add to the medical procedure ban, the Alliance Defending Freedom is also leading a nationwide campaign. This is a campaign that prevents young transgender girls from competing with other girls in high school sports. The group has also filed a federal discrimination complaint in support of the Connecticut girls who took part in the track-and-field and said that transgender athletes taking part cost them top finishes and possibly college scholarships.
The attorney, Matt Sharp said, “Forcing female athletes to compete against biological males isn’t fair and destroys their athletic opportunities.” Matt Sharp is the ADF’s state government relations director. He added, “Likewise, every child deserves a childhood that allows them to experience puberty and other natural changes that shape who they will become.”
It seems like the USA wants to introduce anti-trans and transphobic laws and legislations and completely discriminate against the community. And despite the heightened participation of the LGBT+ community in politics, the conservatives have managed to exclude the community again.