Wednesday, May 5, 2021

Arrested for being Pro Transgender

Warning: long rant ahead. If you don't know what's going on in the trans world and you care to be more informed, I invite you to read on.
In addition to watching the news regarding the many atrocious and horrifying violations of human rights perpetrated on people of colour in this country; I have been following the multitude of events, hearings, and speeches involving more hate-filled people who are trying to block basic rights of trans people. This is the latest asinine example of the far-right, not wanting to hear anything challenging their myopic views, and the equivalent of them sticking their fingers in their ears and chanting, "la la la la," so as not to have to listen to a voice of reason.

Concerned father arrested while peacefully testifying against Arkansas trans health care ban
Chris Attig was arrested by the court for going 30 seconds over their allotted two minutes to speak to the Arkansas House, whereas, a representative for an anti-LGBTQ group called Alliance Defending Freedom and Family Research Council was allowed to speak for a full 40 minutes. This group has been classified as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.
Chris was arrested, held in contempt for several hours, and now faces a disorderly conduct charge - all for basically being pro trans.  Chris is a lawyer, is ex-military, and specializes in veteran affairs. Chris, who goes by they/them pronouns, has three sons - one of whom is 22 years old and has had gender-affirming medical care. So now only does Chris know the law, but also is well-familiar with transgender issues.
Chris said, "You know that this bill is unconstitutional and will not survive federal courts. The Supreme Court has already found that transgender Americans are protected from discrimination. Justice Neil Gorsuch, joined by five Supreme Court Justices that still sit on on the court (that's six - that's the majority), wrote that it's impossible to discriminate against a person for being transgender without discriminating based on sex; and discrimination based on sex violates our U.S. Constitution."
That right there.

"'s impossible to discriminate against a person for being transgender without discriminating based on sex; and discrimination based on sex violates our U.S. Constitution."
Chris nailed it with that statement. There is no way to avoid or skirt around the logic of that statement. For sane and intelligent people anyway.

The need for people to speak out to the Arkansas House is all because of House Bill 1570 - the “Arkansas Save Adolescents From Experimentation (SAFE) Act”. This act bans medical professionals from providing gender-affirming healthcare of any kind to transgender minors. This includes hormone therapy, puberty blockers, and surgery. Read that again. GENDER-AFFIRMING. This kind of medical care is crucial for the mental health of transgender people of all ages. Also note that puberty blockers are completely reversible, and surgery is NOT performed on minors at all. And there is NO EXPERIMENTATION going on with children!

House Bill 1570 was passed by the legislature but was vetoed by Republican Governor Asa Hutchinson who said he believes the government should not be involved in medical decisions and “restraint is better than overbroad actions that interfere with important relationships in our society”.

However, the state legislature overrode the governor's veto and was signed into law in March 2021.

Chris Attig came forward because they worry that bills such as House Bill 1570 sends a message that it is permissible to attack transgender people.

Parents that want the best for their trans kids are now seeking advice as to which state they should move to for gender-affirming treatment for their children.

There are also concerns that parents and others may turn to the black market for hormone treatments that maybe unsafe and because of such anti-trans bills, will not be monitored by medical professionals.  Since the time that House Bill 1570 passed, it has been reported by the Arkansas Children's Hospital that four trans youths have attempted to end their lives.

HB 1570 is one of the most extreme and harmful anti-trans bills in the country and the most extreme piece of anti-trans legislation ever signed into law. 

Denying medical care and support to transgender youths can be life-threatening, contribute to depression, social isolation, self-hatred, risk of self-harm, and suicidal behavior, and much, much more.  With gender-affirming care and treatment, trans youths experience significant decreases in suicidal thoughts, and improvements in overall emotional and behavioral health.

House Bill 1570 undermines parents' rights. The decision about what care is appropriate should be left to the transgender youth, their parents, and their doctor - NOT politicians! This bill, and others like it that are popping up all over the country punishes supportive families and denies medical and gender-affirming care to trans kids - medical care that is a basic right! Parents will have to consider moving out of state, or traveling to a state that allows gender-affirming care on a regular basis so that their child can receive the appropriate medical care for them. : TransGender SYMBOL FLAG, 3'x5' Rainbow Poster Banner, Gay  Lesbian : Garden & Outdoor

 What transgender means for kids:

  • Trans girls are girls and trans boys are boys. Denying kids the right to gender-affirming care is denying them the right to be who they are.
  • Gender-affirming care is not a process that trans kids, their families, or their healthcare providers take lightly. It comes after years of careful consideration by children and families. No one decides to become the opposite gender to which they were assigned at birth on a whim.

  • Gender transition for children who have not reached puberty is entirely a social process. This might include choosing another name, wearing different clothes, and using pronouns indicative of their actual gender - not the ones associated with the gender they were assigned at birth.

  • Puberty blockers for minors simply delays puberty to give a child and their family more time to make informed medical decisions about their care. Puberty blockers are completely reversible.  Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) does not typically begin until at least the age 16. No gender-affirming surgery AT ALL is performed on people under 18. Again, surgery is not performed until a person is a legal adult and has their own agency to act independently, and to be able to make their own choices.

The American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Psychological Association, the American Psychiatric Association, the Pediatric Endocrinology Society, and the American Medical Association, and many more are opposed to House Bill 1570 and are in opposition to similar laws and policies citing research that demonstrates negative outcomes for trans youths who don’t have access to gender-affirming healthcare, including increased suicide rates

Gender-affirming healthcare leads to a number of positive effects, including improvements to body image and overall psychological well-being, and reduced rates of suicide.

Anti-trans legislature is surfacing all over the country, predominately surrounding children because anti-trans politicians are trying to impose their own beliefs on children and undermine a parents' duty to love, protect, and do what is best for their own kids. Anti-trans legislature is bad. Imagine your child being miserable every single day because they were not born in the body that they were meant to have. That they know in their hearts that they are a boy or a girl - the opposite of the gender they were assigned at birth. Imagine that they have to go through life for 18 years being unhappy and potentially being suicidal because of it. Now imagine that because of the laws in place, your child is taken away from you or you are imprisoned because you seek medical care for your transgender child, to try and do what's best for them and their mental health. 

Time - Wikipedia

I realize that what we're looking at here is simply a matter of time. It took time to abolish segregation. It took time for womens' suffrage. It took time for LGBT rights, equality, and same-sex marriage. It's going to take time for this. The problem here is though that we are racing AGAINST time. How many transgender kids will attempt to end their lives because they can't get the help they need? How many parents will be grieving because they weren't allowed to help their kids when they needed it most? Trans kids need help when they're still kids. Most likely they'll transition when they become adults. Some might get surgery, some may not. Wouldn't it be better if they were able to get the medical care they need while they were still kids and not have to wait? Won't it make transgender kids happier knowing that help is attainable and their parents aren't risking jail or them going into a shelter in order to be who they are really meant to be? Do we really have to time to wait for politicians and lawmakers to accept that there are scientifically more than two genders and that kids that are born a different gender to the gender they actually are need help now?


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