Opinion: Anti-Transgender Bills are Harmful to Trans Youth


Matt Olson, Reporter

Over the past several months, multiple states have made bills that specifically target transgender youth in the United States. In June 2020, the Trump Administration passed a law stating that medical professionals are legally allowed to refuse LGBTQ patients for religious reasons. Now, a number of new bills have been created that contain blatant discrimination against the transgender community. These bills are worded so that it feels as though people are being protected, and being treated equally, when in reality, they are just an excuse to discriminate against trans people.

The “Protect Women’s Sports Act” was introduced in December of 2020 which bans transgender girls from playing girls sports. The bill states that it is a “violation of federal law for a recipient of federal funds who operates, sponsors, or facilitates athletic programs or activities to permit a person whose biological sex at birth is male to participate in an athletic program or activity that is designed for women and girls.” People have gone so far to “protect women’s sports” and make them equal that they even have cisgender athletes take hormone blockers in order to make it more “fair.” An article from WCPO states that as of 2019, Olympic gold medalist Caster Semenya, and other female athletes with high levels of testosterone “must take medication to reduce their levels of the male sex hormone if they want to compete in certain events.” 

This was the first of many bills to be introduced. This year, 20 states have introduced a law that would prevent minors from receiving gender-affirming care. Luckily, out of these 20, only one state, Arkansas, has passed it. This bill means that any trans person under the age of 19 can not receive the care that they need. This bill, too, is disguised as protecting these children, when really, it is hurting them. In Alabama, the bill was named the “Vulnerable Child Compassion and Protection Act.” In Arkansas, it was called the “Save Adolescence From Experimentation Act” or “SAFE Act.” This bill does anything but protect these youth. If gender-affirming care is denied, this will only increase the suicide rate of transgender youth, which is already incredibly high as it is. Findings from The Trevor Project, an organization that provides crisis intervention for LGBTQ youth, states that “at least one LGBTQ youth between the ages of 13-24 attempts suicide every 45 seconds in the U.S.” This bill has affected people to the point of forcing them to leave the state. An article from Them states that a family living in Arkansas chose to leave the state for the sake of their trans child. The article describes several stories from similar families who no longer feel welcome or safe because of this legislative session. 

This legislature in no way, shape, or form wants to protect the transgender community based on the bills aforementioned. We do not need bills banning us from sports, and denying us medical attention. We need bills that protect our right to exist, and bills that protect us from discrimination. These bills that have been introduced do nothing but deny us that.