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Anti-LGBTQ+ legislation is on the rise

By Noah Reddy

Guest Writer

The queer community is under attack.

2022 is breaking records on the amount of anti-LGBTQ+ bills being passed. In March NBC News wrote, “A record 238 bills that would limit the rights of LGBTQ Americans this year – or more than three per day – with about half of them targeting transgender people specifically.” This rise in homophobic and transphobic legislation is fitting, considering 2021 was known as ‘the deadliest year’ against transgender individuals, with 375 being brutally murdered. As long as this homophobia is allowed in our government, the lives and mental health of queer Americans will be devastatingly terrible. 

A study by the Pew Research Center found that 1.6% of the American population identifies as transgender. That’s five million individuals who are being significantly affected by these bills. One bill introduced by state representatives in Ohio prohibits all access to medical transitioning for minors, including hormone blockers, hormone replacement therapy and gender-affirming surgeries. In the article, it claims that it “protect[s] the health and safety of its citizens, especially vulnerable children.” This argument against the healthcare of young transgender people is not protecting vulnerable children – it is killing them. Although not all do, many transgender people desire medically transitioning. There are thousands, if not millions, of young transgender people being denied their medically necessary transition due to uneducated lawmakers deeming it child abuse. They call it mutilation, but for many transgender people, medically transitioning can be life-saving. Gender dysphoria can be so bad it can push people to rather die than be stuck in their bodies for much longer. This is why the transgender suicide rate is so high, and why, according to multiple studies, suicidal ideation greatly decreases for those who have gotten gender-affirming surgeries. 

Another bill, proposed by Alabama State representatives states, “The cause of the individual’s impression of discordance between sex and identity is unknown, and the diagnosis is based exclusively on the individual’s self-report of feelings and beliefs.” This is referring to gender dysphoria which is defined by the DSM-5 as “clinically significant distress or impairment related to gender incongruence.” Unfortunately, this bill discusses gender dysphoria as something people lie about for attention and that it’s not real. As someone diagnosed with gender dysphoria, I can speak to just how significant it is. Every day that I get out of bed, I feel like I am stuck in my body. I know that people look at me and automatically assume I am a girl, due to my physical appearance, my voice and other social and physical cues. I become so self-conscious that sometimes I am unable to focus on what I’m supposed to be paying attention to. It can affect how I do in class, how I react and behave socially and most importantly how I think. Gender dysphoria lowers my self-esteem significantly, causing me to feel uncomfortable in my body every time I think about it. Even now as I am writing this, I am conscious of my chest and my waist, worried someone will look at me and notice I am wearing a binder. 

As a young transgender person, I know that my life is in jeopardy. I am worried for myself and the transgender and queer people in my life. I urge you to be concerned, even if you are not personally affected by this. These bills are going to ruin people’s lives. It’s going to kill people who do not align with the cis-normative and heteronormative society that we are stuck in.  I am worried it will kill me or those I love. 

We need to do everything we can to stop these bills to continue to be passed. I urge everyone to post on social media to spread awareness, give information and resources to those who need it, bombard anti-LGBTQ+ politicians with emails and calls and keep fighting. Even if you yourself are not queer and you do not know someone who is transgender or queer that is close to you, remember that although today it is against queer people, tomorrow it could be against you. 

FEATURED IMAGE: Person flying a trans flag PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images

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