It's The March Madness Tournament Of Who Can Hurt Trans Kids The Most, And Arkansas's In The Lead!
If there are two things Republicans believe in these days, on an actual policy level, they're keeping human beings from voting, and banning transgender people from existing.
Both of these come down to white straight conservative men exerting control over people they consider inferior. (And they bristle when we call them gutter trash fascists, huh.)
Arkansas has just passed a bill criminalizing healthcare for transgender kids, becoming the first state to do so. It's passed the legislature and it's heading for GOP Governor Asa Hutchinson's desk. Specifically, the bill, HB 1570, AKA the nastily named "Save Adolescents From Experimentation (SAFE) Act," bans doctors from providing gender-affirming healthcare to trans kids. It's not just about surgery, because despite what bigoted motherfuckers like Rand Paul would have you believe, trans issues don't actually boil down to "surgery." It's about hormone therapy and anything else doctors, abiding by the standards of the medical community, think is appropriate treatment for their trans patients. It's about caring for patients where they are in ways that help them.
Which medical community's standards are we talking about? Oh, just groups like the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Medical Association, the American Psychological Association, the Endocrine Society, the World Professional Association for Transgender Health, and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.
You know, real doctors.
Business Insider explains more of the why:
Studies have shown children who are unable to access gender-affirming care experience higher rates of depression, anxiety, and suicide than trans youth with supportive doctors and families. A 2020 study published in Pediatrics found the earlier transgender youth get care, the less likely they are to suffer from depression and suicidal thoughts.
This is why they call it gender-affirming care. Because despite how conservatives shriek otherwise, trans people are real! And this is how the medical community agrees they should be cared for! Based on science!
But Arkansas Republicans just — surprise! — would rather get in these kids' pants, check their junk, and make their medical decisions for them.
All of this is part of the GOP's current nationwide assault on trans people and trans children. Hutchinson just signed another bill in Arkansas related to the conservative white freakout over trans kids participating in youth sports. Hutchinson also just signed a bill allowing doctors and other healthcare professionals to refuse to treat people for very important moral conscience reasons, which is just a license to refuse LGBTQ+ people medical care.
Perhaps you've heard that the wingnuttiest of wingnuts are currently MAD SO MAD at dumbfuck South Dakota GOP Governor Kristi Noem, who vetoed part of a bill to disallow trans girls from playing women's sports, because she didn't like the language of it. Really, it appears it was mostly to cover her own ass with the NCAA and avoid lawsuits, because she doesn't want South Dakota to lose that sweet NCAA money if the organization pulls events out of the state.
The wingnuts shrieked and called her a traitor to the cause, but she was obviously cool with the spirit of the bill, and she didn't want the genital police of the religious Right to be mad at her, so she just fucked over trans kids with executive orders.
Only girls should play girls’ sports. Given the legislature’s failure to accept my proposed revisions to HB 1217, I… https://t.co/4xncVi1pL1— Governor Kristi Noem (@Governor Kristi Noem) 1617054752.0
The wingnuts say Noem's executive orders are not good enough.
By the way, NPR notes that only one trans girl athlete has been able to play in South Dakota since 2013, when a policy was instituted requiring hearings to determine on an individual basis whether trans athletes would have a competitive advantage. There are none currently in high school sports. So obviously this is the most pressing issue on the South Dakota governor's desk. (The number two issue on Noem's desk is "Lose Twitter fights with Lil Nas X.")
The New York Times has a good roundup of where all these anti-trans bills came from — they don't exist in a vacuum — and why it's suddenly the GOP's favorite thing since denying the franchise to Black people. Amanda Marcotte has an excellent piece this week at Salon on how this latest assault on trans kids, trans girl kids specifically, is actually just part of the GOP's larger war on women, and should be viewed in context of their assault on women and women's sports in general. In other words, miss us with the TERF-y bullshit.
Or maybe you want to read all around badass and Women's World Cup superstar Megan Rapinoe in the Washington Post this weekend on how "Bills to ban transgender kids from sports try to solve a problem that doesn't exist." That's the headline.
Transgender kids want the opportunity to play sports for the same reasons other kids do: to be a part of a team where they feel like they belong. Proponents of these bills argue that they are protecting women. As a woman who has played sports my whole life, I know that the threats to women's and girls' sports are lack of funding, resources and media coverage; sexual harassment; and unequal pay.
I know what it feels like to be singled out and treated differently. No one should be treated unfairly because of who they are — and that is especially true of kids. Adults can't pretend that we care about the well-being of children while actively creating environments that cause serious harm to them. We can't make demands for a false sense of fairness while ignoring the actual needs of women and girls.
New shiny issue, same racist, misogynistic, anti-LGBTQ bullshit. Nothing new under the sun, kids.
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