This week, Governor of Arkansas Asa Hutchinson signed into a law that outlaws gender-affirming healthcare for transgender youth. In addition, it gives doctors the right to deny healthcare based on someone’s sexual orientation or gender identity. This has to stop.
This bill will harm an entire generation of transgender minors. That is the plain truth of the matter. If you disagree, you don’t have any idea what the queer experience is like. LGBTQ teens and young adults get told for most of their young lives by society that what their bodies and minds are telling them is wrong. They are told by every little nook and cranny of the world that their identity must be normal (whatever that is). This bill will have a number of rippling effects including depression and anxiety run rampant among the younger population. Current statistics from the Washington Post have that one in six of those identified as “Generation Z” are a part of the LGBTQ community. Imagine what can happen to society when that large of a population is told, “No, you’re wrong even though all this scientific evidence points to the contrary.” It’s just plain wrong.
There will be many who misunderstand the point of all this or ignore it altogether. They will go about their lives, not batting an eye while their friends and neighbors have their rights taken away progressively. For some straight cisgender people, it doesn’t matter either way. The ones that don’t care view LGBTQ people as practically subhuman. The ones that care for clout think that gay marriage was the final fight and that everything is OK now. It most certainly is not; 11 transgender people have been murdered already in 2021 and more than half of those are Black trans women.
The hot topic in vogue right now with conservative nutjobs is about transgender girls in sports. Notice how they don’t give a damn about transgender men. The debate is both transphobic and sexist. It has nothing to do with “biological males.” That’s just another way for evil people to demonize transgender people as anything but their gender as well as give their base a vocabulary not based in science. It becomes self-fulfilling prophecy. Transgender girls in sports is no different than cisgender girls in sports. Sports is all about physical differences. Are we going to ban all the incredibly tall cisgender girls from sports teams? No, of course not because the whole debate is just to further subjugate transgender people. It’s disgusting on a level that I can’t comprehend. These are children and you’re trying to ruin their entire lives all because of something they cannot control. It’s despicable.
Pride is not just parades and quirky stereotypical characters on Glee. Pride is fighting for our lives even when society has a boot on our necks. It’s saying, “Enough is enough,” when enough hasn’t even happened yet. Until LGBTQ don’t have to face micro-aggressions, discrimination, and full-blown murder every single day of their lives, the fight is not done. You can use the right pronouns. They are not preferred. And you can defend LGBTQ lives at every turn. Not because you will get anything from it, but because it is the right thing to do.