Anti-trans legislation brings up trans myths, government intrusion
During the current Florida legislative session, at least six bills have been proposed that will stifle the lives of trans children and adolescents and their parents. For example, one would not allow a student to determine what pronouns they’d like to use, several allow for intrusion into a physician’s care of a trans person, and one would even remove a child receiving gender-affirming care from their home.
But this care has been around since at least the 1970s, so why all the attention now?
Kellan E. Baker is the Executive Director of the Whitman-Walker Institute, which specializes in health care for LGBTQ people. He has a PhD in Health Services Research and Policy.
“When you look at the actual medical evidence, gender affirming care has been provided in this country for decades. The first expert medical standard of care for gender affirming care was compiled in 1979,” said Dr. Baker. “None of this is new. This isn't a controversy. It isn't news. It isn't a new trend or a new phenomenon. Trans people have been around for a very long time. What's new is the boldness, if you will, of Governor DeSantis and other conservative politicians, using trans people in such a nakedly political powerplay.”
A point repeatedly stressed by those opposing care for trans people in Florida is that medical care should not be prescribed to children. But, experts who work in the field say, pre-pubescent children are net getting medical care. And they certainly are not getting surgery.
“For kids, young people before puberty, there's no medical intervention at all. Anyone who says that there is, is lying. All that you do with a transgender young person before puberty is to listen to them when they tell you who they are,” Dr. Baker said.
Experts agree that the population of trans people in the US hovers around 1 percent, a tiny fraction of the population. So again, why all the attention for this miniscule group? Baker says that legislators are depending on the fact that voters are not well-educated when it comes to trans issues.
“They're essentially banking on the fact that trans people are such a small minority that many people have never knowingly met a trans person,” said Baker. “They're able to kind of project this lie of who trans people are into the minds of voters who don't otherwise know who a trans person is.”
And, he adds, voters should know that the bigger problem is the government intrusion into people’s lives.
“Everyone needs to be aware that this isn't going to stop with trans people,” Baker said. “This is about using government as a weapon to intrude on people's private lives.”
The bills are currently in session and will be voted on in coming weeks.
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