Opinion: Genocide against transgender people has begun

Aria Zahler, Opinions Writer

Imagine this. Every single morning when you wake up out of bed, your phone goes off alerting you to a breaking news article about yet another state in the country attempting to take away transgender healthcare services that you need to survive.

It is like a ticking time bomb, and you are just hoping that it won’t happen to you. The outcome of losing your healthcare is ultimately death.

As of 2022, over 82% of transgender people considered suicide, and over 40% of them have attempted suicide. These rates are exacerbated by factors that discriminate or delegitimize us, according to the National Library of Medicine.

The Columbia University Department of Psychiatry states that gender-affirming care aims to greatly improve the mental health and well-being of gender-fluid, transgender and nonbinary individuals.

However, many of us are quickly becoming affected by the bigotry that exists among these right-wing fascists, who do not understand the benefits. These movements are spreading quickly, and unfortunately, we are witnessing the consequences.

According to the Movement Advancement Project in 2017, only 19 states in the country have laws and policies that prevent discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation. These laws and policies affect health, employment, housing, public accommodation and even credit inquiries.

In 2023, that number has dropped to only 15 states having a high overall tally of equality laws. This data reflects the current political climate that we are facing. So far, this year has seen more than 400 bills targeting LGBTQIA+ people, according to the ACLU.

Every one of these bills attempt to stigmatize us and deny us equality.

We often believe that as we progress into the future, human rights and equality for diverse groups will be protected; however, what we are seeing is the exact opposite.

There exists a movement from people who wish to eradicate us. Their reason is no more than they do not believe in our identity and the issues we face.

I used to believe that it was due to a lack of knowledge, but when we look at the policies of states such as Florida and Texas, the answer is clear – pure hatred.

At the beginning of the year in the State of Florida, reported by The Associated Press, Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis had asked all public state universities for the number and ages of their students who sought or received gender dysphoria treatment. This includes hormone prescriptions from providers and gender reassignment surgeries from hospitals.

When asked about the goal for receiving this data, Florida State Deputy Press Secretary Jeremy Redfern said, “We are committed to fully understanding the amount of public funding that is going towards nonacademic pursuits…”

The DeSantis administration claims that they are targeting gender-affirming care because they believe there is a misuse of state resources. However, the DeSantis administration has recently authorized more than $1.3 million in a state effort to ban Medicaid coverage treatment for transgender people.

This is hypocritical considering only 0.5% of all Florida residents identify as being transgender according to the National Center for Transgender Equality.

It’s also important to remember that not all transgender people medically transition, and not all of those who do medically transition qualify for Medicaid.

What we are witnessing in Florida and 34 other states is an attempt of legislating transgender people out of existence. It starts with attacking healthcare and moves on towards attacking the right to exist in public spaces, while also attempting surveillance on doctors and transgender people.

This is exactly what we are seeing in Florida along with other states. As of early March, during the current legislative session, six other bills have been proposed that will impact the lives of transgender children, adolescents, and their parents.

These bills will impose felony penalties and child abuse investigations on parents and healthcare providers who provide gender affirming care to minors.

Florida SB 254, which is now in fiscal policy, will give the state board authority to remove a child from a supportive home who receives gender affirming care, mirroring a recent Texas bill that also passed.

Some of these bills will prohibit a student from determining what pronouns they would like to use and allow absolute intrusion into the physician’s care of a child.

As invasive as these policies sound, it’s happening.

These bills are usually introduced during times that are outside the regular scheduled session, or within only 24 hours of notice. This leaves no time for the public to know what right-wing legislators are pushing. These sinister bills are pushed from the shadows, and they have their secretive incentive as to why.

It’s to avoid criticism and push back from the people whom they represent.

These state legislators are simply blind to science, facts, and data that support gender affirming care. The reality is that over 97% of all people receiving gender affirming care have reported being happy with their decision to seek social or medical transition, according to The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism.

Only about 5% of people detransition due to unrelated health issues, financial complications, or pressure from societal factors; such as the government, frien

Illustration by Ray Alarcon Marquez / The Runner

ds or family members.

However, of the 5% who detransition, 62% of those individuals’ retransition.

So, what is the actual issue here? Why are these people so focused on taking away healthcare and other services for people who overwhelmingly experience a positive change in their lives?

The data above is not just limited within our borders, but reflective in every other country where people can seek gender affirming care. It does not make sense to put such a negative focus on a group of people who are already scrutinized so much for being their authentic selves.

We need to make it clear to the politicians who wish to end services for transgender people – we will not allow them.

We have our answer, and it works.

We need to inform people of the indisputable statistics that gender affirming care among transgender people, regardless of age, is overwhelmingly beneficial to our mental health and well-being.

Limiting, banning, or outright criminalizing access to medical care severely affects us negatively. It has been proven time and time again by a plethora of credible medical institutions that gender affirming care saves lives.

It has personally saved mine.

I wouldn’t be here today without it, and my only wish is that those who oppose our existence and those who attempt to remove gender affirming care from being accessed will stop relying on personal beliefs that aim to remove us from existing.

It is simply unacceptable. Anyone who wishes to seek appropriate medical care should be able to do so, regardless of where they live.