The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
There are bills being passed everyday all over the country. Some beneficial, some harmful. Right now, we are dealing with a very harmful one. The United States congress (including Utah) is trying to pass bills that would keep transgender people from what I would easily say are basic human rights. The point of this article is to bring awareness and hopefully put a stop to these bills, particularly here in Utah.
There are two anti-trans bills that Utah is trying to pass. The first one goes into detail about keeping transgender high school girls from playing women’s sports in high school. “The argument [the bill’s sponsor makes] to ban them is that girls who are assigned male at birth have an unfair advantage over girls who are assigned female at birth.” (Kuer) It has gone far enough to the point that “New headlines come up every week-there’s the South Dakota lawmaker who has proposed a visual examination of athletes’ genitals; the California initiative to ban trans people from using their chosen locker rooms; the Ohio ruling that trans female athletes in high school must be checked to see if they demonstrate a physical advantage in terms of bone structure and muscle mass.” (Shape) This is happening in high schools! This should disgust and terrify people, yet there are still some that are okay with going that far and doing that to high school students.
“The actual science behind hormone therapy or even gender reassignment surgeries doesn’t provide [an] easy answer, either-but neither medical step changes athletic ability in the way that some might think.” (Shape) The thing that most people don’t understand is that there is science behind a transition for females. The increase of estrogen and a decrease of testosterone physically changes the human body. “Losing testosterone means losing strength and having less athletic agility,…We don’t know if testosterone has a direct effect on muscle strength, but without the testosterone, they are maintained at a lower pace.” (Shape) When transgender women stop producing testosterone, their muscles physically change. We cannot say that they are still males and have all of these advantages if their bodies have physically changed.
The second bill relates to keeping transgender kids from receiving gender affirming healthcare. Gender affirming healthcare is “…health care that holistically attends to transgender people’s physical, mental, and social health needs and well-being while respectfully affirming their gender identity” (Biomedcentral). Transgender men and women are humans just as everyone else, and they do not deserve to be oppressed like this. “The bill also bans certain drugs like puberty blockers or hormone therapy for kids. The argument for this bill actually goes against what leading medical organizations like the American Academy of Pediatrics say about these treatments. Puberty blockers are considered reversible and safe.” (Kuer) If someone knows what they want, is comfortable with their identity, and has put time and thought into themselves, then they should be able to start transitioning to become the person they were meant to be without any kind of restriction.
In my opinion, the government should have no say in either of these manners. Governor Cox sums it up very well when he says, “These kids are …. they’re just trying to stay alive.” (Kuer) If you want to support the opposition you can write your representatives, senators, and governors to share your opinion and voice. These people are quite literally just children and adolescents and they don’t deserve the government holding them back when they haven’t even graduated high school yet.