That is what parents of trans children has to consider in a state like Florida, Texas and other states as they consider banning healthcare for us.
Parents raise concerns as Florida bans gender-affirming care for trans kids
By Melissa Block
February 20, 2023
When 13-year-old Liz Bostock thinks back, she remembers feeling in-between genders as early as preschool.
Assigned male at birth, she identified as nonbinary by fifth grade and decided to use they/them pronouns. Now a seventh-grader in Gainesville, Fla., with a passion for manga and anime video games, and a bedroom filled with stuffed animals, Liz identifies as female and transgender.
Liz's birth certificate now bears her new legal name and gender marker.
After months of counseling, and with a diagnosis of gender dysphoria, Liz started receiving puberty blockers last August. Every three months, she gets a shot of Lupron, a gonadotropin-releasing hormone, or GnRH, that essentially presses the "pause" button on male puberty.
Contrary to Republican beliefs it is not experimental treatment! It has been around since the late 1970s. Also another Republican lie, it has no lasting side effects.
However, they live in Florida…
Florida is one of a growing number of states to prohibit gender-affirming care for transgender minors. It is the only state to do so not through legislative action, but through a vote of its medical boards.
With the encouragement of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, the state's Board of Medicine and Board of Osteopathic Medicine both passed rules that will ban gender-affirming care such as puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones, as well as surgical procedures, for new patients under age 18.
Notice two things: who are saying trans healthcare is okay and those who say it is not. One side has national medical associations and the other side has politically appointed doctors on the Board.
Politicians disagree with the medical consensus on the safety of gender affirming care for minors
Dozens of leading U.S. medical groups, including the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Medical Association and the Endocrine Society, endorse gender-affirming care as time-tested, effective, medically necessary, and potentially life-saving.
But Gov. DeSantis has called the treatment "an example of woke ideology infecting medical practice." The state's surgeon general, Dr. Joseph Ladapo, who was appointed by DeSantis, called the treatments "highly experimental," "risky and unproven." Board of Medicine member Dr. Hector Vila said that by banning gender-affirming care, the board was acting to protect children from "irreversible harm."
You can read what I wrote about the state board here.
Doctors say medical care is being politicized and creating a climate of fear
The new rules haven't taken effect yet, but providers and advocates say they've already had a chilling impact. Several gender clinics in Florida have shut down.
Under the new rule, violators could lose their medical license and face steep fines.
So what is a parent to do?
Flight? Move out of state, send their child to another state boarding school?
Fight? Take legal action against the state?
Things to remember. First all court cases are a crap shoot, you can lose as easily as win. Second, there are many Trump appointed judges in Florida. Third, all this legal wrangling is taking its toll on the children and families. And fourth, this is exactly what the transphobic and homophobic Republicans want… us back in the closet or fleeing the state to make it pure… just white straight Anglo-Saxon Christians left in our wake.
I cannot fault the parents for whatever they do because they are doing it for their children. They are damned if they do and damned if they don't, it is the Republican party that put them into this bind.
I see this going down in history as being like some of the greatest failings of our country. It is on the level of the Red and Lavender Scares, and the court cases of Dred Scott v. Sanford, Buck v. Bell, and the Bowers v. Hardwick.
Anti-transgender rules, rhetoric and legislation are a shameful stain on America's soul
Is another person’s identity threatening to you? Do you have so little respect for your own children that you think the mere mention of gender identity is going to turn them into someone they aren’t?
By Rex Huppke
February 20, 2023
To the politicians, people and pundits who’ve decided that the best use of their time, platforms and power is to make life more difficult for transgender people, particularly children, I have a question: What the hell is wrong with you?
I know leading with that question will put you on the defensive. That’s OK. I want you on the defensive. I want you to search your soul, or whatever inhabits the space where your soul once resided, and defend the decision to aggressively attack an already vulnerable group of people for … for what? For political gain? For clicks? So you don’t have to expend the small amount of intellectual energy it takes to understand an issue that, for whatever reason, makes you uncomfortable?
Before attacking transgender people, maybe try to understand the issues
And yet, the bills keep coming. And nobody involved seems willing to learn that gender-affirming care – a highly individualized and carefully monitored psychological and medical treatment – saves lives. Heck, even using a young person’s preferred pronouns and acknowledging that they exist can save lives.
People gather in support of transgender youths during a rally at the Utah Capitol on Jan. 24, 2023, in Salt Lake City.
Consider these facts:
►A recent Canadian study found that “compared with cisgender, heterosexual adolescents, transgender adolescents showed 5 times the risk of suicidal ideation and 7.6 times the risk of suicide attempt.” The 2015 U.S. Transgender Survey, the largest data set of its kind, found that 40% of transgender adults report attempting suicide at some point in their lives.
►Research has shown repeatedly that gender-affirming care reduces depression and suicidal ideation. Last year, a study by researchers at the University of Washington found that for “youths aged 13 to 20 years, receipt of gender-affirming care, including puberty blockers and gender-affirming hormones, was associated with 60% lower odds of moderate or severe depression and 73% lower odds of suicidality” over a 12-month period. A poll released in January by the Trevor Project found that “86% of transgender and nonbinary youth say recent debates around anti-trans bills have negatively impacted their mental health.”
Over the course of my seventy plus years I have learned a few things. First you cannot educate someone who doesn’t want to learn. Second, when you get hold of a person’s irrational fears you control them and facts do not matter.
If you support anti-trans rules and legislation, ask yourself these questions
What damn difference does any of this make to you? Did a pronoun pants you and stuff you in a locker in high school? Do you have so little respect for your own children that you think the mere mention of gender identity is going to turn them into someone they aren’t?
Is another person’s identity threatening to you? Have you tried actually speaking with a transgender person? Have you made any effort to understand that which you’re railing against?
You can't change the far right. So go for the movable middle! Those are the ones we have to educate.