Transgender Rights Under Attack

Transgender Rights Under Attack

Ian Johnson, Editor

Thousands are in outrage as transgender youth are quickly losing the right to bodily autonomy, and parents of youths are having privacy stripped away. In many states transgender adults are also being targeted by legislation. 

Throughout 2022, anti-LGBT bills have been being proposed to state government throughout the U.S, but since the overturn of Roe v. Wade these particular bills are becoming more rampant. After 50 years, states now have the option to have complete control over their rules and regulation regarding abortion. Because of this, American politics are currently very detached from one party to another . In multiple southern states, politicians are using the same reasoning for Roe v. Wade to attack transgender citizens, mostly youth below the age of 25. 

The Human Rights Campaign reports that in 2022 there have been over 300 Anti-LGBT bills, with most of them targeting the transgender community. This is the highest amount of anti-LGBT bills passed in the history of the United States of America. From laws forbidding participation in school sports to getting life saving gender-affirming care, transgender youth in the United States are being discriminated against by a legal system which should be protecting them. Supporters of these bills claim they are “protecting the children.” Believers of this claim want to stop transgender children from transitioning, whether it be socially or medically. They used the same quote when talking about their views on abortion. If someone is forced to carry a fetus to term then a child is saved; if a transgender child cannot be present themselves as they please, then a child is saved. However, by saying “protect the children,” people who say this only show that they are completely unaware of how contradictory this statement is. 

The Alabama Attorney General’s office argued similarly that gender transition treatments are not “deeply rooted in our history or traditions,” reports National Public Radio. The same excuse that ruled Roe v. Wade overturned. Some argue that this ruling is completely justified, and people will say that anything that is not involved in the Constitution and our Bill of Rights does not need to be addressed and protected. This is completely and utterly wrong because there are so many values that Americans hold dearly to them that are not blatantly expressed in the Constitution. For example, the Ninth Amendment states, “The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people” (U.S. Constitution, amend. 9). This goes hand in hand with the limits of government. According to the Rights of the Minority, small or even unpopular groups are to be protected by the federal government. Transgender American citizens would fall under the category of minority considering that 1.4% of the U.S. population identifies as transgender, according to the UCLA School of Law. 

As Americans we are promised life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. But who is allowed to interpret what life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness is to everyone? Being transgender is not a choice. It would make no logical sense to “decide” to be transgender. Those who fall under the “trans umbrella” experience daily anguish while battling gender dysphoria as well as having to live in a society where the government is not even there to accept their existence. One of the top leading deaths for all teenagers is suicide, but for transgender youth that is the number one  cause of death, the next being murder. The National Library of Medicine states that “82% of transgender individuals have considered killing themselves and 40% have attempted suicide, with suicidality highest among transgender youth.”

Studies show that supportive families dramatically increases their transgender child’s chance of survival and decreases their chance of suicide. Imagine how many lives would be saved if states stopped passing Anti-Trans laws and if the federal government issued bills that would protect this underprivileged community. Change is what needs to happen. Actual transgender people should be involved in conversations involving their rights. It does not even matter if someone agrees or not with the way someone chooses to live their life. What matters is that transgender people have the right to bodily autonomy, privacy, and every other unalienable right that the rest of U.S. is guaranteed.