By Leea Pronovost
First, let me state here that this is my personal opinion based upon some research of what has been happening throughout our country.
The attack upon the trans community has recently gone viral. There has been, depending upon what you read, around 28 states that have come up with anti-transgender bills that not only target trans people but the most vulnerable of trans people, transgender youth. Please look at this article: https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.insider.com/over-half-of-us-states-tried-passing-anti-trans-bills-2021-3%3famp .
Now my question is why is this happening? All of these bills look similar as to the content if you look at the actual wording of the bill and what they are trying to stop. I have to say that from the research I have done so far, in the articles that I have read not a single one of the states that have the laws prohibiting trans athletes from competing have had any incidences where the trans person overwhelmingly wins and dominates the sport. Also, by many articles that I have read, most of the Republican party members polled, by this I mean the Republican constituents that these members of legislature actual are supposed to represent, actually oppose these anti-transgender bills. I re-iterate why then? My only answers seems to be covered within this article, There is one organization behind all of this anti-transgender rhetoric, the (ADF) Alliance Defending Freedom, which is an anti LGBTQ hate group https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.them.us/story/hate-group-reportedly-behind-2021-anti-trans-bills/amp .
All of this really upsets me, as I remember my own youth growing up as a trans person even before the word transgender existed. I tried to commit suicide several times to end the pain of what I felt. I think back and say thanks to something and for some reason I did not succeed. Maybe it was so I could tell my story and help others like me, still I don’t know and I’m trying to figure that out. I do know this all of these bills and some have actually passed, are going to hurt our transgender siblings; especially the ones that will take away transgender health care. This, in my personal opinion, is murder based upon ignorance and hate. There is a difference between not knowing something and ignorance, one can be fixed through education, the other is pure hate despite the knowledge that is available.
There are a lot of studies from the medical community on the proper treatment of trans youth that show they flourish when they are properly supported by friends and family. These legislators are ignoring the facts in these cases when confronted by testimony as to such. The bills are being brought to the legislative floors respectfully whether it’s the house or the senate floor. I have Facebook friends that are parents of transgender youth in some of these states and it breaks my heart. In some cases the bill, should it pass, would actually outlaw a parent that would support their child and give them the therapy and health care that would make the difference between a child who contemplate suicide and a child who would thrive in a caring family situation.
I cannot imagine being a parent of one of those children, in a state which is trying to outlaw being a trans youth and being attacked. To stand up there and put everything on the line including their ability to keep their own child, as their testimony would and could be used against them, which they could be held accountable under the new law that says they are abusing their own child. The state then could take that child away from them, and even place the parent/parents in prison for child abuse. I have to ask here, whatever happened to the Republican party saying they did not support the over reach of the government into the private lives of people. Who are they that they should tell us how to best raise our own child?
Believe me when I say the following; “I really appreciate the President mentioning trans people in his first one-hundred-day speech”. However, we as a trans community and especially those brave young kids he mentioned need more than words. In my personal opinion and that of others, who I have talked to throughout the community agree with me, we need action.
What I would like to see of our current president and his administration, is for them to start to take that action I mentioned. Here are some ideas of what kind of action they should take. First, let me say as far as the health care for trans youth being outlawed, and considered as child abuse, these states have to be told they are in violation of the Affordable Care Act, being that they must accommodate trans health care. The justice department needs to hold them accountable to that violation and file a lawsuit against these states. The administration should be able to hold back funds for healthcare subsidies because of said violations. Now, as to the trans youth not being eligible for a sport in the gender that they identify with this is a violation of federal guidelines which are part of Title IX for schools. Once again, the justice department should file lawsuits against these states for that reason as well, and of course, the administration can hold back federal funding for the schools because of that violation as well.
I would also love to see corporations become involved here. I want to see all these corporations that have a 100% Corporate Equality Rating (CEI) from the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) stand up to these states. I want to see them hold the states accountable, in the form of either boycotting them and/or telling them they will not expand, or are thinking of moving out of those states, as they are in violation of their employee’s civil rights and the civil right that the corporation so valuably upholds for all their employees. Should the states not back down from this, I want to see these corporations take action and not expand and remove their facilities from those states.
One other part I would also love to see, is should these corporations not stand up to the states then I want the HRC, to hold those corporations accountable for their lack of action. I want to see the HRC lower these corporations’ CEI rating, because they are not defending the Equality of all their employees and their employee’s families. After all, these corporations are benefitting from having a 100% CEI rating in the way of hiring and retaining the best employees that they can. This alone, saves them a lot of money in training and retraining costs, by employee retention and attraction. We need to have the HRC hold those corporations accountable that do not stand up for what that rating stands for, with respect to equality.