Elise Shaffer
Back Apr 21, 2021


Content Warning: Dicussions of transphobia, and suicide

TransLifeline’s website has been broken for a little bit now and I haven’t been able to reach anyone over there to find out if they’re going to fix it.

I don’t usually use my blog for promotions. But, if everyone reading this could please donate to TransLifeline. They are an organization offering direct emotional and financial support to trans people in crisis. They’re founded and run by trans people. Given the fight ahead of us, I am sure their work is going to be more important than ever.

I haven’t been in the best emotional state the last few weeks. After news broke that Arkansas’s legislature passed a ban on health care for trans youth, I was devastated. I cried for several hours that night while texting a few friends because I just needed someone to tell me everything was going to be okay.

The following weeks weren’t going to be any better. The news of several other states having similar bills kept flooding my timeline. I kept thinking about these bills a lot. 

Twenty-eight states have bills in their legislatures similar to the Arkansas bill. It’s the most egregious coordinated attack on us that’s been tried yet. The Arkansas bill bans gender affirming care for trans people under 18, included children already undergoing care. 

This bill is going to get trans people killed. 

I just kept thinking about a kid who has been on puberty blockers for a year or more, having those taken away from them. I thought about the hurt they’ll feel from a law that calls them a psychopath. I thought about the suicide stats for trans youth.

Many doctors and activists have pointed out that these restrictions will endanger trans youth. That it could lead to an increase in suicides. In fact, there’s already been several attempts. And, as I sat there thinking about all this, I couldn’t help feeling like this wasn’t some accident. 

Republicans in Arkansas couldn’t have been unaware of this. They chose to do this anyway. I can’t help feeling like that increase in suicides is the point. If fewer trans youth become adults, there will be fewer trans people in the world.  Killing trans people is the point.

Republicans all over the country don’t want trans people to exist. These laws aren’t just about oppression, they’re about extermination. 

There was a video making the rounds on TikTok where two trans men tried to use the women’s room to make a point about a bathroom bill. Two women confronted these men who were then forced to explain that they were assigned female at birth and the law required them to use the women’s room.

I saw a lot of takes on this video. Many cis people calling it a great way to make a point. I watched this video and saw something completely different. Two cis women harassed two trans men for trying to use the bathroom. I also saw something more insidious: design. 

Bathroom bills are designed to create that exact situation. It is legislative harassment. The point is to force trans people into uncomfortable and dangerous situations.  Situations where they face the threat of harassment, verbal or physical assault, or worse.

Republicans aren’t trying to make locker rooms safer. They aren’t trying to protect teens from regretting their transition. They are trying to outlaw trans people. They don’t want us to exist. These laws are their attempt to disguise that as something else.  Something more benign.

I was reading a conversation on the internet a few days ago. Someone was talking about the Georgia voting bill and saying that the bill wasn’t Jim Crow 2.0. That most of the provisions have a justification and if you read the bill you realize it doesn’t sound crazy. 

This person couldn’t fathom the idea that if your goal were to disenfranchise Black voters, you couldn’t actually put that in the bill. It has to have a more benign justification. Republicans are doing the same thing to trans people. Only their justifications for oppressing and killing us isn’t benign at all. They don’t want us to live. 

I’m so angry and sad and hurt right now.

These won’t be the last bills we have to contend with. The health care bans aren’t the end; just like the bathroom bills weren’t the end. Trans people are in for a rough fight over the next few years. To any trans people in these states, I ❤️ you. I’m sorry for what you’ll be going through. Even though everything sucks right now, we can fight this.