We’re only three days into Pride Month and already two states are moving forward with bills and directives that attack the life and safety of trans youth. Both Ohio and Florida have introduced new restrictions aimed at trans kids, their parents, and medical professionals. Here’s what you need to know.
Ohio Bans Trans Girls From Girls’ Sports
We’re only half way through 2022, and so far it’s been marked by an onslaught of discriminatory legislation aimed at LGBTQ+ youth. According to the Trans Formations Project, it’s estimated that there’s already been more than 300 anti-trans bills introduced to state House floors across the country.
Some of those directives and bills have already passed, including bans on trans youth from using the bathroom that best fits their gender, bans on trans kids from playing sports, laws that make gender-affirming medical care a felony, and prohibitions of discussing sexual orientation and gender identity in schools. Now, Florida and Ohio have introduced more legislation via bills and directives that further limit the rights of trans kids.
According to FOX19 News, Ohio lawmakers passed a bill on June 1, the first day of Pride Month, that prohibits trans girls from playing on female sports teams in schools, private colleges, and state institutions.
House Bill 151 was originally written to replace the Ohio Teacher Residency Program for the 2023-2024 schoolyear. However, last minute, House Republicans added a last-minute amendment to the bill just before the vote that places limitations on trans people playing sports. The bill goes further, saying that trans female athletes must join co-ed or male teams.
Students would be required to get a signed statement from a doctor that verifies their biological sex if it’s questioned, and schools who violate the bill could see legal action. The bill passed 56 to 28.
Florida Moves to Ban Gender-Affirming Care
On June 2, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’s administration sent a letter to the state board that regulates doctors to essentially ban transition-related care for trans minors, according to NBC News. Although this isn’t an official bill, the directive, signed by Florida’s Surgeon General Joseph A. Ladapo, who has previously spread COVID vaccine misinformation, questions the safety and science behind gender-affirming medical care. The letter asked the Florida Board of Medicine to “establish a standard of care” that would essentially ban doctors from providing gender-affirming care to trans youth.
The letter also accused the gender-affirming care recommendations for trans youth by several professional organizations, including American Academy of Pediatrics and the Endocrine Society, as being politically driven. “The current standards set by numerous professional organizations appear to follow a preferred political ideology instead of the highest level of generally accepted medical science,” he wrote. “Florida must do more to protect children from politics-based medicine.”
However, the vast majority of evidence demonstrates that gender-affirming care is extremely beneficial to trans children, and many healthcare professionals consider it to be necessary medical care.
On top of it all, Florida also recently announced that it’s ending Medicaid coverage for gender-affirming care for adults. This move lifts the veil on the the state’s claim that they’re worried about youth being confused on their identity and spotlights its attack on all trans people.
Multiple studies have proven that supporting trans kids in their transition is vital for their health and safety. Nearly all reputable organizations that focus on children’s health, including the American Academy of Pediatrics and American Academy of Family Physicians, agree with this and outline why gender-affirming care even early on can be the difference between life and death.