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Horrific anti-transgender bills are being pushed all over the nation that call for a ban on lifesaving medication for trans youth and jail time for doctors who administer it. Puberty blockers are drugs used to postpone puberty in children. Doctors have been using them safely on children for many years. The politicians pushing these anti-trans laws are playing on fears that irreparable harm is being done to the children. It is simply not true. Puberty blockers are not harmful. The real harm being done is by the officials pushing these bills.
Some parents are asking their relatives who live in “trans-friendly states” to take guardianship over their children so that treatment can be continued to save their lives. Other parents are uprooting their entire families to a state where their youngsters can get treatment. Those who can’t afford to move are left feeling hopeless, with nowhere to turn.
Acceptance and gender-affirming medical care are essential to the mental and physical well-being of trans youth. Imagine what it must feel like to have the state that you live in not accept you and deny you medical care.
As a parent of a trans child, I can tell you the fear and uncertainty of just sending my trans child out into the world every day is enough. It is a lot to navigate. Having to fight elected officials so you are able to care for your child’s needs is an additional level of stress and uncertainty for the whole family. How do you explain to your child that it is against the law to get the treatment that they need? It is a heartbreaking conversation that hundreds of families have to have right now.
This year 28 states will vote on bills to take away the rights of transgender youth and adults. These bills are dangerous and cruel. Pediatric Journal did a study in 2020 and found that when youth are denied gender-affirming medical treatments, they are more likely to have dysphoria and suicidal thoughts.
We have to come together and reject these laws in the streets, in our statehouses, and when we vote. We must demand high-quality health care for all so every child can get the health care they need to be healthy and well.
We must begin to talk with our family and friends about why these hate bills are harmful to not only the trans community, but all communities. “No one is free until we are all free.” (Dr. Martin Luther King)