Letter: Legislators should work on something useful

Graphic by Lori Deaton

The North Carolina state legislature [has been] considering three bills that would directly — and negatively — affect trans people. One would criminalize providing medical care for trans people under the age of 21 — care that has been shown to be both reversible and also crucial to transgenders’ mental health. (Witness the increase in suicide attempts by trans youth in Arkansas in the wake of that state passing similar legislation.)

Another bill would prevent trans people from participating in sports as their preferred gender, even though studies have shown it makes no difference in the level of competition, and anyway, it seems laughable that someone would go to all the time, effort and trouble it takes to transition just to gain a nonexistent advantage, or (heaven forbid) gain access to the locker facilities of the opposite gender.

Finally, one bill would allow health care workers to refuse to provide medical care … to trans people if it went against their “religious” beliefs. This is utterly ridiculous, given that their first “religious” belief ought to be a commitment to saving people’s lives, not worrying about their own petty, hateful prejudices. This is all nothing more than hate trying to disguise itself as fear, and the sadly ironic part of it is that it is all being pushed by the Republican Party, which likes to claim that it wants to get government out of people’s lives.

Finally, I find it fascinating that nearly all anti-trans sentiment is the product of men. Women don’t get freaked out about trans women using women’s rooms, and they are the only ones being affected by it. Get your minds off of what might or might not be in someone’s pants, legislators, and work on something useful like expanding Medicaid or increasing teachers’ pay.

— Penelope B. Stephens

Editor’s note: The News & Observer reports that lawmakers have decided not to move ahead with the bills addressing transgender youth sports and gender-affirming health care.


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