On the heels of a historic election year, we’re witnessing an attack on LGBTQ rights in state legislatures like never before. These discriminatory bills are primarily targeting the transgender community. Some are simply cruel — they would block trans student athletes from playing sports with their friends, some going as far as to sanction invasive, traumatizing medical checks on any kid whose gender is questioned. Others seek to deny trans kids of the gender-affirming care and resources they depend on to not just thrive, but to survive. These bills aren’t just discriminatory — they’re a direct threat to the lives and well-being of trans kids everywhere.
These pieces of legislation are not solving any problems, but instead creating many for the thousands of families nationwide they’ll impact. These bills are othering trans students in schools, depriving them of critical care in hospitals and attempting to erase their very existence in society. The worst part of all is that legislators aren’t even taking the time to hear from actual trans kids, let alone ask how they may be impacted.
We’ve been talking with families across the country about their experiences, how these bills could impact them and what message they want to share with the world. Here are just a few of their stories.
Jeremiah is a 17-year-old kid in Alabama who loves to skateboard with his friends, is an amazing visual artist and an outspoken advocate. His state is currently trying to pass bills that would make gender-affirming care for trans kids a felony and prevent trans kids from participating in sports.
“Kids, or just people supportive of trans youth, see the news reports and understand some of the content, and think that if this passes the restrictions will immediately go into place. They’re going to immediately close up, stop talking to counselors, etc. That’s where the harm begins — where the unhappiness begins.” “My main question to people trying to pass this bill is: How can you make decisions for trans people when you don’t even know us? We live in communities everywhere — as students, coworkers, friends, family — and deserve to be heard just like anyone else.”
Adam is an 8th grader in Tennessee who loves playing video games and spending time with his family and friends. His state is currently among those nationwide trying to pass anti-trans bills.
“The issues they’re making laws to protect against don’t exist; instead, they’re creating problems where there are none. These bills will have a really bad effect on kids like me everywhere and are just going to hurt people if passed.”
“It’s hard enough being a trans kid, not knowing if you’ll be bullied at school, but to have politicians who supposedly have the good of the people at heart do this is so upsetting.”
“Know that we’re here for you, I’m here for you — I hope everyone finds that person who will always listen to and believe in you no matter what.”
Daniel lives in Arizona and is a huge fan of playing basketball, building new worlds on Minecraft and helping with his family’s business. He’s fighting so that he can still play on the basketball team he’s come to know and love.
“I’ve met so many of my close friends by playing basketball and they’ve really become a support system for me throughout middle school.”
“To all the parents out there, my main advice is to listen to your kids. When we share something with you, it’s because we want to be seen and heard. It’s important for trans people, and especially trans kids, to have our stories heard so that others can get to know us for who we are.”
These are just some of the stories of trans kids who want to play, learn, thrive and live without fear of discrimination. They deserve the same opportunities as every other child, not barriers created by lawmakers who won’t take the time to actually listen. They should be given every chance in the world to be happy — and they need our help.
If you want to help us stop this wave of hate, get involved today. You can text PROTECT to 472-472, connect with legislators and tell them why hate has no place in any state.* It’s also important to help us pass the Equality Act to fill the gaps in our current civil rights code. For our communities and our kids, join us in this fight.