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Attack on Trans Rights

2021 in a Nutshell...

2021 has seen an unprecedented attack on transgender rights. So far this year 37 states have introduced more than 110 bills that target transgender people, at least 13 of which have already passed into law in at least seven different states. These bills are part of the more than 250 bills attacking the rights of LGBTQ people that have been introduced in the state legislature this year. 

Author Bio:

Edmund Green Langdell (they/them) is an ever becoming enby, whose work focuses on promoting human and environmental wellbeing through design and education. They work for Play Out Apparel as a Marketing Assistant. They strive to spread love and healing in the world through connection and education. They also design eco-friendly needle felted packers. They earned a BFA in Fashion Design from Parsons School of Design, where they worked as a Peer Health Advocate for four years, and created and led Gender Venting, a group for transgender students.



Author Bio:

Edmund Green Langdell (they/them) is an ever becoming enby, whose work focuses on promoting human and environmental wellbeing through design and education. They work for Play Out Apparel as a Marketing Assistant. They strive to spread love and healing in the world through connection and education. They also design eco-friendly needle felted packers. They earned a BFA in Fashion Design from Parsons School of Design, where they worked as a Peer Health Advocate for four years, and created and led Gender Venting, a group for transgender students.




So... What Are Neopronouns?

Neopronouns are any set of personal pronouns besides he, she, and they. They are usually gender neutral pronouns, although some have meanings that speak to the user’s gender or experience of the world, although they are still outside of the gender binary. Gender neutral pronouns, besides singular they, have existed in the English language for hundreds of years, although most of them have not gained widespread popularity. Since the 1300’s, English speakers have attempted to introduce more than 200 gender neutral pronouns into the language, and some of them have made it into dictionaries.


The Bills:

Among these bills, at least 66 of them block trans people from participating in sports teams consistent with their gender. In Idaho, one of these bills passed into law that requires women and girls whose sex is in question to undergo genital, genetic, and hormonal examinations in order to “prove” their gender and continue participating in sports. That law is being challenged in federal court. 


At least 15 of these bills block trans people from using restrooms that are consistent with their gender. 


At least 36 block trans people from receiving gender affirming medical care. But the attack on trans healthcare is not limited to gender affirming care. Arkansas passed a broad medical conscience bill that gives medical providers the right to deny people care, simply for being trans, regardless of if the medical care they need is related to their transition. There was also a bill that required businesses to post signage by bathrooms warning customers that a trans person may be using the restroom. 


Freedom for All Americans is tracking each of these bills, and has an interactive map showing which bills are in each state. The Guardian also has a few maps that show where in the country bills have passed, failed, and are still active. The states with the highest number of bills are:

Texas - 12 bills

Tennessee - 12 bills

Iowa - 10 bills

Missouri - 9 bills

When People Say It's Just Science...

It’s important to note that many of these bills blatantly ignore science. Arkansas passed a law that prohibits trans youth from receiving gender affirming medical care, one of the 36 similar bills that have been proposed this year. This law prevents trans youth from receiving puberty blockers, which delay the changes associated with puberty. Advocates of this law claim that puberty blockers are unproven and dangerous, and that having legislation that prohibits their use is necessary in protecting children from making irreversible changes to their bodies that they will later regret. 


This claim ignores the fact that puberty blockers are medically safe, their effects are reversible, and they have been in use for decades. It also ignores the 2020 study in the journal Pediatrics that found trans kids that wanted puberty blockers and did not receive them faced greater lifetime odds of suicidal thoughts than those who did receive them. 


Ironically, puberty blockers have the exact effect that the advocates of the law banning them claim to want. They allow trans youth time to explore their identity before their body develops to avoid changes in their body that they may not want later in life. When the trans person is older and ready to make a more permanent decision, they can stop taking the puberty blockers and either allow their body to develop as the sex they were assigned at birth, or begin taking gender affirming hormone therapy to continue their transition. 


History and Affect of Trans Legislation

There is a long history of laws banning trans people from public spaces. Between 1848 and the 1920s, more than 40 cities and 21 states passed “public indecency” laws that targeted people wearing clothing associated with the “opposite sex.” These laws enabled the naturalization of the disappearance of gender nonconformity from public spaces, and therefore from the knowledge of the public. Gender nonconforming people would be arrested for existing in public. People outside of the gender binary have always existed and there have been many organized political campaigns to disappear us. 


Laws that target transgender people are not about proving that we don’t exist. The fact that these laws exist proves that trans people exist because the laws would not have been created if people did not want to disappear us. These laws are about regulating what kinds of people are allowed to participate in public life. What types of people have the ability to be seen and be a part of society. 

We Need You As An Ally

We are at a point in time where trans people are insisting on being seen. We are insisting on the right to exist in public, to live our truth openly, and to be respected for who we are. We are working towards a world where trans people can not only exist in public, but be safe doing so. We want a world where we can go outside as ourselves and not fear being attacked or mocked for existing. At least 31 trans people have been fatally attacked so far this year in the United States, the majority of whom were Black and Latinx transgender women. It is still socially acceptable in most circles for trans people’s existence to be the punchline of a joke. 


The trans community is in desperate need of allies. We don’t need you to be an expert on trans vocabulary, or never accidentally misgender someone, or educate with facts about trans people, in order to help us. All we need is your heart, your compassion. We need you to see us as human beings worthy of love, life, and the freedom to exist in public spaces. There is a misconception among many cisgender people that they need to understand trans people before they can support our right to exist. You don’t have to understand us to speak up on our behalf. When we are mocked and attacked, we need you to speak up for us. You don’t need to understand how we exist outside of what you have been taught about gender to know that we are human beings that deserve compassion. 

Sources:

Sources:

Alok’s Instagram It used to be illegal for women to wear pants: a history of cross-dressing laws

Freedom for All Americans Legislative Tracker: Anti-Transgender Legislation

Human Rights Campaign 2021 Officially becomes Worst Year in Recent History for LGBTQ State Legislative Attacks as Unprecedented Number of States Enact Record-Shattering Number of Anti-LGBTQ Measures Into Law

Human Rights Campaign Fatal Violence Against the Transgender and Gender Nonconforming Community in 2021

LGBTQ Nation House republican introduces anti-trans legislation that could lead to gential exams for school girls

LGBTQ Nation Idaho passed 2 anti-transgender laws during the pandemic. It’s getting sued for both of them.

PBS Pride: 2021 has set a record in anti-trans bills in America

Scientific American Why Anti-Trans Laws Are Anti-Science

The Guardian Mapping the anti-trans laws sweeping America: ‘A war on 100 fronts’

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