Trans issues misunderstood

It was recently reported in the Herald that three N.C. Republican lawmakers have developed an ill-fated Senate bill that would bar any form of medical treatment for gender dysphoria for anyone under the age of 21, and would compel state employees to inform parents in writing if their child expresses any notion of dysphoria/being transgender. Blessedly, this bill is not likely to pass; however, given the national rise in such legislation, it’s demonstrative of how widespread public misunderstanding is on Trans issues, and so I thought it prudent to write.

Firstly, the notion of barring treatment to legal adults between the age of 18-21 would be laughable if it was not so existentially insulting. Content to let “children” throw their lives away in pointless Republican wars by age 18, yet strip them of the right to pursue medical treatment?

Gender dysphoria, dissatisfaction with the biological traits that one outwardly presents, often manifests around the time of puberty, as one’s body starts changing counter to how one feels. Overwhelming studies find an estimated rate of 65-75% of trans youth ideating suicide; 15-30% actively attempt; 34% attempt by age 13 (youthsuicideresearch.org). Professionals can and do debate the possible long-term effects of puberty blockers and such on children; yet, it cannot be understated how important it is for both families and medical professionals to recognize and validate the feelings of these young people. The consequences of failure can be, and is, death, and permanent psychological/emotional harm. Secondly, following the notion of harm: the idea of “outing” young people to their parents for expressing their feelings goes beyond ignorance and is just malice. It’s more likely to encourage silence from children on other serious issues if such emotional trust in state employees is eroded.

With hate crimes/murders of Trans individuals on the rise in the past 4 years, is this truly the hill that Republicans want to die on? Such good loving Christians.

William P.G. Tucker

Sanford