Anti-trans laws sweeping the country, now in N.C.

The+Transgender+flag+was+designed+in+1999+by+a+trans+woman.+The+blue+and+pink+stripes+represent+the+traditional+colours+for+boys+and+girls%2C+respectively.+The+white+stripe+represents+intersex%2C+transitioning%2C+or+neutral+gender.

Photos by pixabay.com

The Transgender flag was designed in 1999 by a trans woman. The blue and pink stripes represent the traditional colours for boys and girls, respectively. The white stripe represents intersex, transitioning, or neutral gender.

Abagail Bissett, Staff Writer

So far in 2021, over 100 anti trans laws have been introduced in 33 states, this includes 2 such laws in North Carolina.

 

What is transgender?

The term transgender is an umbrella term for anyone who identifies differently with their biological sex, this includes non-binary, genderfluid, etc.  A person who identifies as transgender identifies as a different gender than the one they were assigned at birth. An example would be a biological male identifying as female. There are many different types of transgender. There are the more commonly known ones, such as binary (trans woman, trans man), and non-binary (genderfluid, non-binary).

The trans community is widely overlooked in the world of LGBTQ+. Many people are unfamiliar with the important contributions the trans community has attributed to the LGBTQ+ community.  In 1969, there was a riot in NYC, the stonewall riots. These riots are the ones that started the “gay rights” movement.

Two parade-goers holding signs in support of LGBTQ+ rights during a pride parade.

Anti-Trans Laws in North Carolina

In 2016, the state of North Carolina, along with many other southern states, passed a law banning trans people from entering a bathroom for the gender which they identify. This forced trans-men and trans-women, pre- and post- transition, to use the bathroom for the sex they were assigned at birth. Due to this law, many trans-people felt that they couldn’t be themselves. This law was later repealed in 2017. 

 

In 2021, the year started abysmally for trans-folk. By March 2021, 82 anti-trans laws had been passed following the same themes; women’s sports and trans youth health care. Now, in September 2021, over 100 laws have been introduced, including two in North Carolina. The “Youth Health Protection Act ” and the “Save Women’s Sports Act.” 

 

These laws mean that trans youth under 21 cannot get gender affirming care, and that trans women and girls cannot play sports with other women. 

 

Gender affirming care relates to the health care that revolves around hormone replacement therapy, puberty blockers, and gender affirming surgeries. If a doctor does go ahead and perform such treatments, they could face fines up to $1000 and could have their medical license revoked.

 

This means that trans youth in the state of N.C. can’t start transitioning until after the age of 21. For anyone who does not know the process of transitioning, it all starts with a gender therapist. If one believes they are trans, they cannot just start transitioning, this is a widely accepted belief. If one believes they are trans, they would get a gender therapist who helps them understand who they are. In order to begin officially transitioning, the therapist has to sign off on beginning treatment. One cannot begin transitioning until the therapists give permission to do so.

 

Transitioning can be a very long and expensive process, it can take years to complete. Transitioning has been proven to increase wellbeing. By restricting this process, it makes it harder and longer to reach this ultimate goal. 

 

“Save Women’s Sports Act”

The other bill introduced in N.C. is the “Save Women’s Sports Act.” The bill states that if one was not born as a biological female, they cannot participate in said sport. This law states that trans women and girls in middle and secondary school cannot compete in women’s sports. The logic is that trans women are biologically superior to ciswomen (cis means that one identifies with the gender they were assigned at birth). 

 

From a scientific standpoint, this is untrue. According to studies, males are about 12% faster than women when competing, in regards to track, but within 9 months of starting hormone therapy, trans women were running 12% slower than they were before transitioning (more information). This scientific study is just one of many that proves that it is reasonable to allow trans women into women’s sports. 

 

While trans kids are less likely are to go out for sports than cis kids, this number is not zero. While trans people only make up 2% of the population, they are found everywhere, even in the most intolerant areas. A 2020 study found that when trans kids were denied hormone treatment faced greater odds of suicidal thoughts. 

 

How this relates to Athens Drive

Pride parades, like this one, is a way for people anywhere to celebrate who they are without feeling ashamed. Being surrounded by a group of people who are just like them is a great way for people to feel included.

A large number of students have never heard of these laws and don’t know anything about them. 

 

“[These laws] feel harsh… it’s gonna take a long time, because I am 16 now, that’s five years until I can even start.” Stated an anonymous trans student at Athens.“Students here are trans, and they don’t feel included… It’s not your choice, it’s just who you are.”

 

Many people who are trans are sure of who they are by the time they hit puberty. This is not always the case, but a 2019 study showed that in a group of 85 gender non-conforming kids, ages 2-12, most of them came out as trans and had started transitioning. 

 

A survey from 2016 says that 0.6% of US adults identify as transgender. While this number is small, out of a population of 328.2 million people, that means that approximately 1.3 million are trans. Athens Drive is not a small school, not everyone knows everyone else. With 1.3 million trans people in the US, that means that there are definitely some at Athens Drive. These laws being passed could make it harder for trans students to feel comfortable coming out because they feel like they are not accepted. They could find it difficult to be accepted when their identities have laws against them.

What do you think of these law?

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