Sunday, May 28, 2023

Editorial: Transgender individuals under legal attack

Transgender individuals have existed in society since the dawn of humanity. They walk among us, and are no different from anyone else. In recent years, younger generations have seized the freedom to express their true selves. Unfortunately, this trend in individual public expression has become a conservative talking point.

This “boom” has caused conservatives to grow anxious and ramp up their fight against transgender rights. This fight not only affects transgender individuals though, as many of these talking points are also used to restrict and confine women, especially with abortion. 

Conservatives argue children are castrating and mutilating themselves in the name of gender liberation, when that is not true. Children, under the guide of medical professionals and permission of their legal guardians, may take hormone blockers. These blockers simply delay puberty. If the child is transgender, they may pursue hormone replacement therapy, otherwise they will undergo puberty, just at a later time than their peers.

Not just transgender children and adults utilize this care. Women with endocrine disorders also use estrogen, testosterone or other hormone replacement therapies to regulate their bodies. Many cisgender individuals have endocrine complications requiring hormone medication.

Transgender adults can seek any medical treatment they think is best, whether that is cosmetic or affirming surgery or HRT. Adults can legally change their name and sex on their own, without any legal meddling from others. Children, as always, need intervention from their legal guardians.

Yet, Republican lawmakers have banned transgender individuals from participating in sports or banning HRT and other gender-affirming care. 

The Trevor Project, a queer suicide prevention organization, states that 86% of transgender youth reported their mental health has declined. Almost half have seriously considered suicide.

Indiana and Idaho have restricted gender-affirming care for minors, while Texas, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Virginia lawmakers push to make this care illegal for adults as well. Alongside this, lawmakers are attempting to hold doctors liable for providing this treatment, which has caused several doctors to drop gender-affirming care entirely. 

“A lot of the bills are aimed at creating not only fear in the community, but also making anti-trans sentiment part of the general conversation,” Simon Willis, co-president of PFLAG Houston — an organization that hosts queer support groups, told Vox.

America flaunts freedom of speech and expressing ourselves how we see fit. However, legislators are suppressing transgender individuals and preventing them from expressing themselves. 

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