Telling Trans Stories: Jeremiah

by Guest Contributors

Across the country, state legislatures are trying to pass dangerous bills that attack transgender kids. From legislation preventing kids from playing sports to others that would prevent access to gender-affirming care, these bills are harmful and must be stopped. We're sharing the stories of trans kids and their families to highlight why they deserve the same rights and opportunities as everyone else. If you want to get involved, text PROTECT to 472-472 and join us in the fight for trans equality.*

You can explore all of our Telling Trans Stories series on Instagram.

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. He and so many other trans kids are under attack by state legislators trying to pass harmful bills. We talked with him and his mother about an Alabama bill that would make providing gender-affirming care to kids a felony.

“I came out to my mom as trans when I was 12. I told her by sending an email explaining who I am and connecting her to some online articles about what it means to be transgender. Her response was more than I could’ve ever asked for. Not only was she supportive from day one, but she shared that many of her friends I’d known my entire life were trans, I just didn’t know it. Shortly after, she reached out to a friend who also has a trans son and they connected us to different doctors and counselors in the area.”

“The journey hasn’t always been easy, but there have been so many who’ve helped along the way. A lot of people have this misconception of trans kids going into doctors’ offices, demanding hormones and surgeries — but that simply isn’t even close to the reality. I spent the first few years meeting with counselors who helped me navigate my gender identity and begin to socially transition. It wasn’t even until I turned 14 that I was able to get hormones, and even then the amount prescribed wasn’t that much, but the emotional difference it made was incredible. I felt more like myself than ever before. The care trans kids get allows us to be healthy and safe, to create a path so that in the future we can make our own decisions.”

“I’ve been speaking out ever since Alabama introduced a bill that would make providing gender-affirming care to kids a felony. It was so infuriating to see legislators talk about the legislation like it’s meant to help people, when really all it does is endanger so many. The real harm these bills are doing is two-fold. 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.”

“There are also medical students in the queue right now who are determining where they can go to provide gender-affirming care. What medical student would want to come to a state where they could be put in jail for doing their job? This bill would cause us to lose so much talent and hurt all kids, not just trans kids, who need the support.”

“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. Instead, legislators are trying to enact laws that impact kids like me when they haven’t even met us. This bill won’t save even one child, but it could harm and even kill many.”

“To all the trans kids out there who may not have support systems in their lives, or are worried about the future with all these bills, know that the number of people who support you far outweighs those who don’t. We know who we are and no legislation can tell us otherwise. It’s time for all of us, especially our allies, to speak out and make sure that bad bills like this don’t become the law. Together, we can stop this hate.”

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