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Ladue Publications

Missouri Legislators Must Stop Weaponizing Anti-Transgender Legislation for Their Own Political Gains

Missouri Legislators Must Stop Weaponizing Anti-Transgender Legislation for Their Own Political Gains
Mac Huffman

Dear Missouri Legislators,

Missouri Congress passed Senate Bill 49 Aug. 23, 2023, which bans all gender-affirming care for transgender people under 18. Additionally, Attorney General Andrew Bailey is campaigning to heavily restrict gender-affirming healthcare for adults. Anti-transgender bills have exploded exponentially in the past few years. In 2018, there were 26 anti-transgender bills introduced to Congress. Last year alone there were 589.

It’s your job as legislators to respond to your constituents if they’ve raised concerns about transgender people. However, from our perspective as Missourians, that isn’t what is happening. You’ve perpetually lied about gender-affirming healthcare. Bailey, you’ve incorrectly claimed that “gender transition interventions are experimental,” despite healthcare professionals telling you otherwise. These false claims are echoed among politicians.

The nickname for Senate Bill 49, the Save Adolescents from Experimentation (SAFE) Act, is a blatant lie based on your rhetoric. The 2022 U.S. Transgender Survey of 92,329 people shows less than 1% of people who in hormone treatment are less satisfied with their lives afterward. Additionally, social support as well as gender-affirming healthcare saves lives. The Trevor Project’s 2022 national survey of over 34,000 queer youth shows that when transgender youth have social support, their suicide rate drops by over half.

If you truly cared about protecting kids, you would ensure our healthcare system works safely to include gender-affirming care, instead of legislating it away and trying to close down transgender treatment clinics like Senator Josh Hawley has. With this bill and your campaigns against transgender adolescents, you’ve threatened their lives and mental health.

As of 2022, only 1.3 million Americans are transgender in a country of 335 million. So why spend so much time writing and campaigning for anti-transgender legislation when transgender people are such a small amount of the population? Transgender people’s lives and health have become a cornerstone of your 2024 election campaigns with a steep increase to 462 anti-transgender bills introduced in 2024. Your seemingly endless propaganda has portrayed transgender people as illegitimate, confused and indoctrinating. It has struck fear in Missourians for you to exploit come election time.

Transgender people’s healthcare went from something very few cisgender students even knew about to the topic of arguments in classrooms across our country. Most students are learning about transgender people from your political campaigns and not actual transgender people or healthcare professionals, so mass misinformation and hate have spread rapidly. This problem worsens as you push to remove all mention of transgender people from school curriculums.

While you see the results of your anti-transgender campaigns in poll numbers, we are faced with the real numbers of your actions. The 2022 U.S. Transgender Survey shows 24% of transgender people do not see a doctor when they need to out of fear of mistreatment, and 71% are discriminated against based on their gender identity. Additionally, the Trevor Project’s 2022 survey shows 54% of transgender youth seriously considered suicide, and 29% attempted suicide in 2020.

This is the cost of using people’s lives for political gain. So, is it worth the votes?

Sincerely, Panorama Editorial Board.

 

Send to Gov. Mike Parsons 

Send to Attorney General Andrew Bailey

Send to Senator Eric Schmitt 

Send to Senator Josh Hawley 

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About the Contributor
Mac Huffman, ID Editor in Chief
Chronic mispeller, usually outdoors, photo obsessed and founding ID Editor in Chief. When Mac's not editing, they're typically designing infographics or writing stories about identity, food and harm reduction. This is their 3rd year and final year on publications staff.

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