In the first 3 months of 2023 alone, almost 500 anti trans laws have been introduced across all the states in the U.S. Every state has introduced at least one anti-trans bill, with most having over 10 bills being introduced. It may seem like a small amount of bills have been passed, which fortunately is the case, however with the introduction of these bills itself brings insight into the focus of U.S. politics in 2023.
Why Are Anti-Trans Laws Being Made?
In the last decade, queer and trans people have become more visible in daily life and in media as there is more representation and general societal acceptance (depending on where you live). However, transphobic systems and politicians have taken this liberation of trans people to attack them in order to stifle fear and hatred which would force them back into the closet and hiding for their own safety. It has been greatly advertised as a way to “protect” children from “turning” trans or being "indoctrinated by the trans agenda". However, it is the exact people enforcing stereotypical and harmful gender norms that are attacking our education systems in order to create a false narrative regarding queer people, especially trans people. Trans people are some of the most vulnerable of groups in the U.S., especially for trans people with intersectional identities such as race and economic status who face intersectional discrimination throughout daily life.
Where are Anti-Trans Laws Being Made?
Across the country, hundreds of anti-trans legislation is being introduced even in more accepting states such as California and Oregon. Trans protections and basic human rights such as access to healthcare are being taken from many, leaving some states outright dangerous for trans people to live in as the laws cause great harm to them and their family. For example, in states such as Texas which have already legalized taking trans children from their accepting households, defining it as “child abuse”. Along with making safe spaces in schools opportunities to out trans students when they aren’t ready or safe enough to be outed without devastating consequences. This is exactly the most harmful and dangerous thing that can be done to trans people, and trans youth especially. Removing resources and safe spaces to explore identity and be supported is what leads to the high suicide rates seen in trans youth.
Further Consequences of Anti-Trans Law
Not only is removing the already limited and not easily accessible resources to trans people extremely harmful, but making trans people’s home states a place where they will actively be attacked is as well. With 86% of trans youth being suicidal and 56% having attempted suicide, this calls for great concern as this very small group of people who are already very vulnerable are living in a world that is actively trying to eradicate their existence and call upon the genocide of them such as in a speech by Michael Knowles he said “For the good of society, transgenderism must be eradicated from public life entirely — the whole preposterous ideology, at every level.” This anti-trans rhetoric has directly shown the intentions of the politicians and social media figures who spread hatred to trans people because they simply refuse to allow trans people to exist peacefully or have rights.
What You Can Do to Help
It doesn't matter if you are trans or a trans ally, it is vital that we stand up for trans rights and teach people that trans people are humans too, just like everyone else. Fighting for the right to be allowed to exist and the many basic human rights which are not afforded to trans people is an essential battle to establish trans rights not only in the U.S., but internationally. There are very simple and easy things you can do in day to day life in order to help protect trans lives across the nation. 1: Having empathy and willingness to learn something new is key to educating people on trans issues, especially for trans allies. 2: Share your pronouns! It may seem awkward or “weird”, but if you are comfortable and feel safe to, introduce yourself with your pronouns to help make trans people feel safe and welcome in the conversation. 3: Don’t assume, and ask questions! Though gender expression can align with gender identity, it doesn’t always, especially for trans people. Asking for clarification on what someone is comfortable being referred to as or their pronouns will instantly make things easier when interacting with them. 4: Support trans community funds and awareness online with accounts on social media such as @iowatransmutualaidfund and trans creators such as @dylanmulvaney, @miss_melody_xoxo, and @veondremitchell on Instagram. Stay safe and support your trans Mustangs!