Visibility Alone Will Not Keep Transgender Youth Safe

March 3rd Missouri father Brandon Boulware asked lawmakers not to pass any law banning her transgender daughter from participating in her dance, volleyball and tennis teams. To date, a video of his testimony shared by the American Civil Liberties Union has impressively received more than 7.5 million views. Visibility alone, however, did not compare to the spate of anti-trans laws that have been put in place in the past three months. The Missouri bill that Boulware testified against is just one of more than 100 bills introduced across the country targeting transsexuals’ ability to update our identification documents to accurately reflect our gender, exercise in school and gain access to health care.

For this reason we have extended the Trans Day of Visibility, which takes place annually on March 31, to Trans week of visibility and action, an attempt to mobilize our community and allies against the national wave of anti-trans laws and rhetoric that attacks and challenges our very existence. If we do not fight in a coordinated and spirited struggle, these bills will destroy the lives of vulnerable youth across the country – and many have already. They will continue to pose a threat in the weeks to come, and possibly years to come – which is why we must start acting now.

First, we urge everyone, whether you live in one of the battlefield states or not, to know the details of these terrible laws. Arkansas, Mississippi and Tennessee have already passed measures banning trans women and girls from exercising based on their gender identity. On Monday, South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem enacted an executive order to implement a similar ban on sports, and the Arkansas Senate voted overwhelmingly to ban trans youth from access to gender-affirming care. Arkansas Bill HB1570 is now being forwarded to Governor Hutchinson’s desk. He only has five days to veto the bill. Otherwise it will be regulated by law and young people will immediately lose their health care. Alabama lawmakers could vote on it this week HB1 / SB10Supporting bills that would criminalize the provision of health care services to trans youth up to the age of 19 and would force school staff to leave any young, potentially transgender person to a parent or guardian.

While advocates of these sweeping bans claim they “protect” children, they are in fact pushing for government-mandated conversion therapy that forces adolescents to live as their assigned sex and deny their trans identities. If implemented and made into law, the Arkansas and Alabama bills will tear away life-saving health care for the trans youth. For example, teenagers undergoing treatment to delay puberty would be likely Experience physical effects that cause extreme stress if denied this concern. Conversely, we know that when you access this maintenance, you will have an a 70 percent fewer suicidal thoughts;; Pulling it off is synonymous with relieving suicidal thoughts and acts. This legislation violates protocols supported by all major medical institutions, including the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Medical Association, and the Endocrine Society.

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