May 2, 2023
There have been roughly 405 anti-trans bills introduced across the states, causing mass alarm to the LGBTQ+ community and their supporters.
“I feel disappointed because it’s 2023, we should be more open, and we should be more understanding of everybody around us. I understand that maybe in 2010 people were more judgmental, but it’s 2023 why there are any bills,” Junior Margaret Potter said.
Throughout the years there has been discrimination against the LGBTQ community, however in the first months of 2023 there has been more anti-LGBTQ bills introduced than 2012 to 2015 combined, Specifically, trans identifying people have been targeted by the many bills introduced. One of the states that has currently introduced approximately 12 anti-trans bills is Florida.
“I think it’s a real shame that these bills have been allowed to just pass like unimpeded by any Florida senators. The fact that people are being denied the right to be themselves is, I think, a serious tragedy, and an issue that needs to be dealt with immediately,” Sophomore Caleb Miller stated.
The progress the LGBTQ community has made towards acceptance is faltering due to what some could say is the ignorance of those in power. In addition, students believe queer youth have less options to defend themselves against the system.
“I feel like younger people aren’t going to be educated well enough if we keep regressing. They’re gonna grow up in an environment where they don’t understand much about the LGBTQ community, and once they get older and they actually learn about it, it’s gonna be harder for them,” Potter said.
Recently on March 27 there were claims of a school shooting happening in Nashville. Police claimed the shooter was a 28 year old woman named Audry Hale, however they later said that Hale was a transgender individual, according to the social media profile where Hale used masculine pronouns. This raised tensions and led to Conservative columnist Benny Johnson to writing a tweet voicing his opinion. The tweet stated “One thing is very clear: the modern trans movement is radicalizing activists into terrorists.”
“I don’t think it was logical to attack the community just because the shooter was trans. It’s very stupid, we should be focusing on the fact that they shot up the school, not who they identify as,” Junior Presilee Teusher stated,
In some states a large percentage of individuals feel more satisfied living as a different gender than assigned at birth, which is why trans youth and adults seek out gender affirming care. However, some options are becoming less available as politicians in several states are attempting to restrict gender affirming medical treatments. Some states like Georgia and Tennessee already banned such care for minors at the beginning of 2023.
“I don’t think it’s logical to restrict this care at all, a lot of transgender people do need this medication to properly be comfortable with their bodies, and the fact that they are denied that; I think it’s a human rights abuse,” Miller said.
Not only are the trans individuals affected, but so are family members. Recently in Kansas there was a there was a bill introduced by democratic governor’s veto that would have allowed genital exams for school children to ensure they are not transgender, however, Kansas Republicans overrode this action. This close call of an invasion of privacy has caused worries in the community, and their family members.
“This is wrong, the people would be literally exposing themselves to adults. I do not know why they are so worried about what gender they are or what’s in their pants. They are willing to put students in an uncomfortable position just for their personal gain, and it really just sucks,” Teuscher stated.
Despite the actions being taken against the LGBTQ community that is affecting their progress towards social acceptance, specifically Trans individuals, many will continue to fight for their rights and make their voice be heard.
“I feel like if you want to take medication or be yourself then you should be able to. It is a human right to be yourself, why does anyone else get to tell me I can’t do that,” Potter said.