Anti Trans Legislation Runs Amok in America

Andrew Eaton, Writer


Trans rights are in jeopardy across the nation. Various states such as Alabama and Arkansas are passing legislation to severely restrict the healthcare rights of trans youth. These bills outlaw doctors from prescribing puberty blockers to anyone under 21 along with access to any other provider for gender reassignment treatment.  These bills coupled with recent prevention of trans women from entering female school sports teams in various counties creates a dire portrait of how trans people are accepted within American society. 


The new legislation could deal a devastating blow to a community that is already struggling with a high rate of depression. A study taken in 2020 by The Trevor Project shows that more than half of gender nonconforming youths have seriously considered suicide. This depression is a direct result of an inability to access proper healthcare in a system where non binary and trans people are overlooked and degraded. The Project’s study corroborates this by stating that  “86% of LGBTQ youth said that recent politics have negatively impacted their well-being.”


The morale and mental health of this community are further impacted by discrimination within their own families and communities. The Trevor Project survey also found that 58% of LGBTQ youth have claimed  that friends or family members have tried to convince them to conform to their biological gender instead of their chosen ones. Both political and familial rejection of trans people can cause serious self harm within LGBTQ communities. 


America seems to be following a saddening global trend of taking steps back with LGBTQ rights. In the United Kingdom, a growing anti-trans sentiment is being spread by a Tory- led  government. As of September 2020, England shot down a planned reform of the  Gender Recognition Act originally passed in 2005. This reform would have allowed trans people to obtain gender surgery in an incredibly short period of time by ending the need for a medical diagnosis of gender dysphoria. This would have been extremely beneficial for trans and non binary people as the requirement of medical diagnoses has caused  long waits spanning years for essential surgery. 

The LGBTQ community voiced their dissatisfaction  soon after the reform was scrapped. Nancy Kelly, head of trans charity Stonewall responded by saying, “It’s a shocking failure in leadership that after three years and a robust public consultation, the UK government has put forward only minimal administrative changes to improve the process for legal gender recognition of trans people.”


Other European countries aren’t doing their best for trans rights either. In Poland, not only trans rights but homosexuality is general is being trampled on by politicians and communities who let homophobia run rampant. Currently in Poland, over 100 towns have pridefully declared themselves “LGBT Free Zones.” Conservative magazines have been sending out stickers of a pride flag with an “X” covering them to celebrate this. When editor Tomasz Sakiewicz was interviewed by Forbes about this he claimed that the paper wasn’t targeting any specific individual but said he is against “aggressive ideology promoting homosexuality.” He compared queerness to a political ideology by stating  


“Communists used to wave the red flag and told people they were fighting for the poor, for the workers, for the peasants. Now these activists hold up the rainbow flag and say they are fighting for sexual minorities. It was not true and it is not true. And since we lived through communist times we have a duty to tell others how dangerous such ideas can be.” 


Polish President Andrzej Duda seems to agree with these ideas as he promoted similar sentiments during his reelection campaign by referring to the LGBT rights movement as a destructive “thought process” and like the aforementioned Sakiewicz compared it to communism. Duda proclaimed to his supporters 


“This is not why my parents’ generation for 40 years struggled to expel communist ideology from schools, so that it could not be foisted on children, could not brainwash and indoctrinate them.” 


These statements from high ranking Polish officials that seem to treat being gay, lesbian or trans as an “ideology” and not a type of sexuality are ignorant at best and dangerous at worst. This rhetoric not only shows a demoralizing lack of thought or care for non-straight lives but spreads hate amongst citizens of the country. 


The United States is at a turning point in Trans rights. This country stands a chance of falling into the anti-pride ways of other countries. American lawmakers must reverse course on the discriminatory legislation they are dolling out without consideration for lives that will be devastated by the laws they are passing.