Hatred towards transgender individuals needs to end

We are all aware of the hate being spouted against transgender people and it is only getting more dangerous.

Violence against trans people and the LGBTQ+ community in general is on the rise and it is being fueled by the hateful rhetoric of Republican politicians and their allies in the media. In 2022, one out of every five hate crimes committed were done so against LGBTQ+ people. That was also the year that the Club Q, an LGBTQ+ nightclub, was attacked by an anti-LGBTQ+ terrorist, killing five people.

During this year’s Conservative Political Action Committee (CPAC) convention, right-wing commentator, Michael Knowles, called for the “eradication” of “transgenderism.” He has since doubled down, saying that he only means to destroy the “ideology” of “transgenderism.” He swears that he does not want to murder trans people. Knowles is conflating trans people with what he calls transgender ideology, so it is hard to see how Knowles can advocate for destroying one and not the other.

The rights of transgender people are being attacked by state legislatures across the country because of this kind of rhetoric. In 2021, 13 states enacted laws banning trans athletes from participating in school sports. Ten states have enacted bans on gender affirming care including hormone therapy and gender affirming surgery. These Republican politicians often claim they are protecting children from so-called dangerous and life-altering procedures, but that is just not true.

First of all, hormone therapy is completely reversible. The patient just takes puberty blockers to delay puberty. As soon as they stop taking the blockers, puberty hits as it would have. Surgeries are reserved for adults in almost all cases. Gender affirming care has been shown to reduce depression and instances of suicide in those receiving them as well. So, the actual best way to protect kids is to make sure that those who need these kinds of treatment receive them.

Interestingly, the Republican Governor of Utah, Spencer Cox, put it best when he vetoed a bill that would have banned trans youth from participating in school sports.

He said, "Four kids and only one of them playing girls sports. That’s what all of this is about. Four kids who aren’t dominating or winning trophies or taking scholarships. Four kids who are just trying to find some friends and feel like they are a part of something. Four kids trying to get through each day. Rarely has so much fear and anger been directed at so few."

The legislature overrode his veto, enacting the law.

There is also a nationwide campaign to ban books and topics relating to gender expression from being discussed in the classroom. The tired claim that the LGBTQ+ community are pedophiles has also resurfaced as a justification. It is a rich accusation too, considering Republican lawmakers are defending child marriage.

All these books and discussions do is show children that it is normal for people to express themselves. They teach children that it is normal for men to like men, for women to like women or for men and women to have been born in the wrong body. Gender dysphoria is real.

There are so many problems facing this country and the world. Staggering wealth inequality precents people from affording basic necessities like food, housing and healthcare. People cannot afford higher education or apprenticeships. Jobs do not pay employees what they are worth. The existential threat that is climate change threatens a catastrophe unlike anything seen before. Instead of tackling these issues, Republicans would rather attack a small minority of people who just want to live their lives. It is sad, pathetic and dangerous.

This is not just an LGBTQ+ issue. This affects everyone because it is our duty to protect our fellow humans. It never stops at just one group of people.

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