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Transgender Kids Deserve Access to Gender Affirming Healthcare

Photo by Lena Balk on Unsplash

Last updated on July 25, 2022

Gender is an identity that everyone has and something nobody can control. Now imagine being denied your identity on the basis of the political opinions of strangers who know nothing about the things they are attempting to ban and will ultimately be unaffected by the said ban. This is what transgender youth go through on a daily basis. Within the last two years, one hundred and ten anti-trans laws have been proposed in state legislatures, this is because of the mindset of cisgender supremacy. Cisgender supremacy is the idea that being cisgender (not transgender) is “normal” and therefore superior. Although being cisgender is much more common than genderqueerness, the majority is not the same as normalcy.

Cisgender supremacy is unfortunately prevalent in American politics. This mindset is one that keeps transgender girls out of school-sponsored sports programs and keeps transgender children from receiving the same healthcare as cisgender children. This mindset is also threatening to reverse much of the progress that transgender activists have made throughout the years. From the beginning of 2020 until around March 2022, fifteen states have introduced bills that would criminalize parents who allowed their children to receive gender-affirming health care. None of these bills are currently laws, but that does not mean that the legal struggle for gender-affirming healthcare is over. 

Ever since the court ruling of Bell v. Tavistock in the UK, which banned the use of hormone blockers on people under the age of 16, there has been an increase in the discussion around the rights of medical transitioning and the use of puberty blockers for young (and sometimes old) transgender people. Although it is important at any age not to take medical transitioning lightly and understand the effects of such a life-changing decision, in the context of puberty blockers for teens, there is a sense of knowing that they can always turn back. Unlike hormone replacement, puberty blockers are completely and easily reversible so the commitment factor is not as prevalent. All puberty blockers do is allow transgender teens to combat body dysphoria by not allowing for their bodies to develop at that specific time. These puberty blockers are easy to get off of and their bodies will continue developing as normal if the person goes off of them. Puberty blockers are a form of gender-affirming care and are really important to many transgender young people. So why take away something with little risk or commitment involved that can help the mental health of so many young transgender people? Is it really about protecting them from bad decisions or is it because these politicians simply do not agree with the existence of transgender people? And should we allow these ill-informed beliefs to dictate who can live their life authentically and who cannot?

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