Should legislators have the right to enact laws governing access to medical care? According to Texas, they should. Recently, Texas legislature has taken up SB1646: Relating to the protection of children, including the definition of child abuse and the prosecution of the criminal offense of abandoning or endangering a child. Horrifically, the language of the bill makes it a felony for a parent in my position to provide care for my transgender daughter. Please, let that sink in for a moment.
Recently, we have witnessed transphobia sweep the country like wildfire. Arkansas has enacted the SAFE Act, prohibiting doctors from prescribing hormone therapy and puberty blockers to children. According to the ACLU this is just the tip of the iceberg. Twenty states are currently considering legislation that prohibits healthcare for transgender youth. I ask you, where do we go from here?
From my perspective as a parent, this is surreal. I have watched the testimony of the children in Texas and the legislators didn’t ask them questions and seemed anything but caring. The brave children and parents who put themselves out there to stop this unfounded hate from taking hold are being dismissed by those cloaked in a shroud of piety and protection. In the face of the medical community to include the American Academy of Pediatrics, The Endocrine Society and American Psychological Association these legislators believe that they know better than the experts. My biggest concern and question is, why do they even care?
In our life, my husband’s parents have taken a similar stance to the legislators. They will not acknowledge our daughter and are hateful to my husband. His mother instructs him to look between our child’s legs if we want to know their gender. Can you even imagine? However, we are lucky. We are steadfast and united in our love and passionate about the protection of our child. We do not question the validity and truth of what she shared just one week after her fifth birthday. She has not wavered from her identity for even one minute in the 65 months since that day. She is perfectly made.
Being actively involved in the transgender community, I am witness to those who are not as fortunate as my child. People who have grown up with parents who did not affirm them, those who have been bullied, ousted, and ostracized. Even harmed. Above all, this legislation is an act of war against an already battered group of people. This is celestial news that gets ratings and a rallying point for conservatives who are licking wounds and trying to find the next downtrodden person they can beat up in order to look powerful.
I’m here to tell you that attacking transgender children and stripping them of their right to healthcare is nothing more than a powerplay to earn points. Those who are proposing and enacting this legislation care no more for my child’s well-being than they do for your mortgage, your child’s education, or even their safety. In short, all these people care about is themselves and their power. They are using the trans community for reelection and brownie points.
As a result, we face cis, white, rich, powerful men who legislate against a group of people they know nothing about. Meanwhile, they have made decisions about our reproductive rights, our right to access maternity benefits, and contraception. They sit behind closed doors in committees and craft packages from their place of privilege. An actual stakeholder is not invited to the table. In summary, they have decided that affirming parents are felons and that my child is better off dead. They do not see these children as happy, healthy, whole humans who contribute something positive to this world.
Two words: Game. On.