These States Are Already Demonstrating How Harmful Trump’s Anti-Trans Policies Would Be
Hide your vulnerable youth and hide your sense of safety because Trump is coming for them in 2024.
Former President Donald Trump released a video statement on Tuesday as part of his newly launched campaign for the 2024 Republican presidential primary that includes sweeping and direct threats aimed not only at rights for transgender youth across America, but also at the people who care for them. “The left-wing gender insanity being pushed on our children is an act of child abuse—very simple,” Trump stated.
Trump would task police with stopping gender-affirming treatment for people of any age. And any doctor or hospital providing these services would lose access to federal programs like Medicare. It seems like the former president is hoping to appeal to his super-conservative and bigoted base by using unequivocally hateful language that thoroughly attacks everyone who might be involved in a transgender person’s gender-affirming journey and related medical care.
The ruthless dictator-like tone and language of his threats (or promises, depending on how bigoted the listener is) are terrifying, of course. But there are many places in the United States where the medical landscape is already operating similarly to the hellscape proposed by Trump. You didn’t want to be happy today, did you?
“Bans on best practice medical care represent one of the most extreme—and coordinated—political attacks on transgender people in recent years,” according to “Equality Maps: Healthcare Laws and Policies,” published by the Movement Advancement Project (MAP). Doing so effectively makes it illegal to be transgender and get life-saving care.
Gender-affirming care “consists of an array of services that may include medical, surgical, mental health, and non-medical services for transgender and nonbinary people,” according to the Department of Health and Human Services. Not only is gender-affirming care endorsed by the American Medical Association, but it also greatly reduces suicide rates among trans youth.
So, what are some of the worst states in the U.S. for being a transgender or non-binary person?
First, Alabama. Sweet home Alabama holds the distinction for being pretty much the worst-ever state for just trying to be your damn self if you are not 100 percent cis. Why does Alabama deserve this particular (dis)honor? Not only do state laws ban best-practice medical care for trans-identifying youth, but Republican leaders have actually made it a freaking felony crime to provide that care and—please read the following with the urgency it demands—require school officials to out children to their parents. Alabama is the only state to have that proviso. In 2022, a judge temporarily blocked the medication ban, but the rest of the draconian laws are still in full swing.
Arkansas leaders have also tried to ban gender-affirming care, but a federal judge temporarily blocked the law from going into effect in 2021. If you’re trans, you can’t play on the sports team of your identifying gender, either. Arkansas is one of five states that “requires parental notification of LGBTQ-inclusive curricula and allows parents to opt their children out,” according to MAP. There are also state laws banning individual cities from creating anti-discrimination laws for trans individuals and families in the workplace. That is some ugliness right there.
Arizona has passed measures banning surgical forms of gender-affirming care for minors, but the law won’t go into effect until March 31, 2023. Some pharmaceutical forms of care, like hormones, will still be allowed. Arizona is also one of only 12 states that has the foul law requiring proof of gender reassignment surgery to change the gender marker on state IDs and driver’s licenses. So if you’re only getting the hormone therapy allowed by law, you are out of luck.
Next, we have Utah. Great for skiing, not so much for life-saving transgender medical care. In January, Utah became one of just four U.S. states to have laws banning best-practice medical care for trans youth. There is also a state law banning trans and non-binary youth from participating in their identifying gender sports teams.
Dozens more states have harmful and hateful anti-trans youth laws that no doubt make our country feel like an unlivable and actively violent place for trans and non-binary youth to be. States that currently have laws prohibiting trans students from playing sports on their identifying gender’s team include Montana, Idaho, Utah, Arizona, Texas, South Dakota, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana, Iowa, Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee, Indiana, Kentucky, West Virginia, South Carolina, and Florida.
There are also six states that currently have some form of the crazy-horrible “don’t say gay” laws that prohibit curriculum surrounding LGBTQ studies in schools, and allow parents to opt out of any schoolwork that contains content related to anything or anyone who might be LGBTQ. We’re looking at you, Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida.
If you or anyone you know needs help dealing with issues surrounding being trans or non-binary, you can always contact the Trevor Project. They also have a chat service that can offer advice. Even if Trump and his cronies aren’t okay with you being who you are, there are millions of us who love you for you.
(featured image: Joe Raedle, Getty Images)
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