Photo by Ehimetalor Akhere Unuabona on Unsplash

Battle Against Those

Who Would Suck Us Back To The Bad Old Days

Take me back to the good old days when men were men and women were women and gay people were tortured emotionally, physically and in any other way.
Self-absorbed, hypocritical, ignorant, sanctimonious, child abusive and plain cruel are words that come to mind to describe those growing number of far right conservatives who are working diligently in numerous states to get their kids in line, the heterosexual line. And to those young people who are in the throes of depression or commit suicide out of fear, guilt, or confusion about their gender identity, these self-proclaimed guardians of the gates of mental health and heterosexuality and all that is good, say, be damned, you misguided, sacrilegious, liberal, anti-Christian young people.
“Immoral,” “scandalous,” “dangerous,” “anti-American” were just a few of the ways that the LGBTQ community was labeled, hounded and worse during the bleak days of the 1950s when Sen. Joseph McCarthy and his driveling sycophants were ruining lives and claiming there was a communist under every rock and probably a gay person living under the same piece of rubble. Years have passed and progress has been made for the LGBTQ community, from laws allowing same sex marriages and adoptions by same sex couples to laws barring discriminating against transgender people.
I don’t know what is more distasteful, that these current day politicians who want to turn back the clock on LBGTQ rights really believe that they are right or that they are just weaponizing the issue to appeal to the despicables.
The Williams Institute is a think tank at the UCLA Law School dedicated to conducting rigorous, independent research on sexual orientation and gender identity law and public policy. In its most recent report, the institute found that 1.4 million American adults identify as transgender. About 0.7 percent of adults 18 to 24 identify as transgender and 0.5 percent of adults 65 and older identify as transgender.
The Williams Institute also found that access to pubertal suppression treatment was associated with lower odds of long-term and consistent suicidal thoughts among transgender adults. The Childrens Hospital of Chicago has reported that transgender and gender-questioning adolescents who have not yet reached the later stages of puberty may undergo pubertal suppression therapy before they begin hormone therapy. Pubertal suppression therapy, or “puberty blocking” is a non-invasive, reversible process achieved by using compounds that mimic the actions of a puberty-stimulating hormone released in the brain. But the reactionary right wingers pay no mind to such scientific findings.
The U.S. has made significant strides in past years regarding LGBTQ rights. Several states protect transgender people from discrimination in employment, public accommodations, housing, credit, and schools.
The 13 states prohibiting discrimination against transgender people in employment include: California, Colorado, District of Columbia, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington.
The 14 states that protect transgender people from discrimination in public include: California, Colorado, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington.
There are 13 states that protect transgender people from discrimination in housing, including: California, Colorado, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington.
States that protect transgender people from discrimination in the extension of credit include: Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Minnesota, New Mexico, Vermont, and Washington.
And 11 states prohibit gender identity discrimination in public schools and in some cases, private schools that receive some state funding, including: California, Colorado, District of Columbia, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Minnesota, New Jersey, Oregon, Vermont, and Washington.
Despite the progress, legislation to ban gender-affirming treatment for teenagers has been introduced in more than 20 states, including, where else, but in Texas.
The latest issue is evolving in that most backward thinking of states, Texas. The Texas attorney general, Ken Paxton, has notified parents who provide their transgender teenagers with puberty-suppressing drugs or other medically accepted treatments — which doctors describe as gender-affirming care — could be investigated for child abuse.
Paxton wrote that his order would mean that “all licensed professionals who have direct contact with children” would be required to report to state authorities those who they believe are receiving gender-affirming treatment or face criminal penalties
So the push to ruin young lives in Texas is being led by Paxton and his bottom-dwelling boss, Gov. Greg Abbott. Abbott also is the leading neanderthalian voice to declare that conception is defined as the moment a fetal heartbeat is detected while Paxton has been indicted on securities fraud charges and accused of corruption by his own former top aides.
Faustian legislation passed earlier in the year in Texas empowers citizens to be paid a ransom if they rat on anyone looking into or planning to have an abortion. The same tactic is being offered in regards to transgender children where citizens are asked to report suspected violations while teachers, doctors and others must report what they believe to be child abuse, in the form of gender reassignment surgeries or transgender children.
Not to be outdone in the race to the bottom for votes, the Florida House of Representatives passed the “Don’t Say Gay or Trans” bill (HB 1557/SB 1834). If signed into law, the bill would prevent teachers from providing a safe, inclusive classroom for all. It would block teachers from talking about LGBTQ+ issues or people, further stigmatizing LGBTQ+ people and isolating LGBTQ+ kids. The bill, which has trump clone, Gov. Ron DeSantis’s support, would also undermine existing protections for LGBTQ+ students.
If you want to talk about child abuse, talk about all of those young people who kill themselves because they were told overtly or covertly that they were less than people. Accordingly, suicide rates among young people have been on the rise in recent years, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, but gay and bisexual youths are almost five times as likely to have attempted suicide as their straight peers. Researchers at the Williams Institute, found that 30 percent of lesbian, gay and bisexual respondents ages 18 to 25 reported at least one suicide attempt, compared to 24 percent of those 34–41 and 21 percent of those 52–59.
Right wing, pandering so-called legislators may not know the facts but they are certainly aware of the psychological and emotional scars that are exacted when a young person is told he or she is either crazy or just mislead into thinking his gender of birth may not be his true gender or that it may be nothing more than a phase that will go away naturally.
In an ironic twist, among the first to be investigated under the Texas order was an employee of the state protective services agency who has a 16-year-old transgender child. The employee was placed on administrative leave last week and on Friday was visited by an investigator from the agency, which is also seeking medical records related to her child.
According to a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), the state’s investigator told the parents that the only allegation against them was that their transgender daughter might have been provided with gender-affirming health care and was “currently transitioning from male to female.”
A parent of a transgender teenager in Houston said that the family’s health clinic, Legacy Community Health, had suspended all refills and new prescriptions for transgender minors in light of Abbott’s order. Texas has repeatedly considered bills that would have banned gender-affirming treatment for teenagers, yet all have so far failed.
As of April 2021, 33 states had introduced more than 100 bills to curb the rights of transgender people across the country. Arkansas was the first state to outlaw providing gender-affirming treatment to minors. The “The Arkansas Save Adolescents From Experimentation Act (SAFE),” was the first bill in the U.S. to become law that would prohibit health care professionals from administering gender-affirming care. One bill introduced in Alabama would make it a felony for medical providers to provide transition-related care to transgender minors.
A total of 31 states have introduced bills that ban transgender athletes from participating in sports consistent with their gender identities. Three states, Arkansas, Mississippi and Tennessee, signed bills into law last year. The Arkansas bill, named the “Fairness in Women’s Sports Act,” would prevent transgender girls and women from participating in school, intramural or club sports with their same-gender peers. The Arkansas bill also says that educators must refer to students only by their “biological sex,” as listed on students’ original birth certificates. A child’s own gender identity is considered irrelevant.
South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem signed two executive orders to ban transgender girls and women from competing in women’s sports at public high schools and colleges.
One Iowa bill requires that parents give written consent for teachers to discuss gender identity while their children are present in the classroom. Another Iowa proposal notes that any curriculum that includes gender identity must include “the potential harm and adverse outcomes of social and medical gender interventions.”. The Iowa legislation removes gender identity as a protected class under the Iowa civil rights act.
Arizona, Montana and South Dakota have introduced bills that restrict ID cards and other forms of documentation from reflecting a person’s gender identity.
But what is truly monstrous is that all of those crafting anti-transgender legislation could care less about the impact the laws ill have on real people.

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Journalist for 40 years and now a creative writer

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Phil Garber

Phil Garber

Journalist for 40 years and now a creative writer

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