The law prohibits transgender medical services for minors, which brings painful choices to Arkansas families

In Arkansas, families with transgender children are running out of time, and they are always looking for a cruel option.

Republican lawmakers recently passed a bill banning gender-confirming medical treatment for minors. This means that some transgender children have begun to rely on their care, and they think it is essential to help them become their true selves, and they will soon be banned by anyone under the age of 18.

Dylan Brandt, a 15-year-old transgender boy, said: “It makes me sad to know where I have lived all my life. It makes them seem to not want me to be here.” Oklahoma The small town of Greenwood near the border of Massachusetts.

He and other families are now considering whether they should leave the state so that their children can continue to receive medical services elsewhere. Unless the bill is challenged in court, it will take effect this summer.

What is happening in Arkansas is part of a broader national trend. Legislators in more than 30 states have introduced more than 100 bills that may affect the transgender community in the past few months.

Dylan’s mother owns her own house and small business, and does not want to leave the state, nor does she want to ask Dylan to stop the gender transition. (CBC)

Most of the bills involve prohibiting trans women and girls from participating in sports teams that match their gender identity. Idaho is the first state to pass such a law in 2020, although it has not yet taken effect due to a court injunction.

in his ruling, Judge David Nye wrote that the state has not determined the “legitimate interests” of Idaho’s previous rules that have not been resolved, “except for the invalid interests of completely excluding transgender women and girls from women’s sports. In addition, regardless of their physical characteristics.”

There are also a series of bills that prohibit the gender-affirming care of minors, such as the “Save Youth from Experiments Act” passed in Arkansas. The so-called “Safety Act” would prohibit doctors from providing hormonal treatments, puberty blockers, or gender-confirming surgeries to minors, or refer them to minors (although opponents of the law point out that the state has never Perform surgical procedures).

The process involves the medical team, treatment, and family

according to American Academy of Pediatrics, Gender confirmation medical treatment for minors involves “the process of using transgender hormones to enable adolescents who have entered puberty to develop secondary sexual characteristics of heterosexual behavior.”

It and American Medical Association Both Oppose The state intervenes to provide such care to minors.

Delee Fortson, a psychological inspector in Arkansas, said seeking and accepting this type of care is a long process involving children, parents, and a team of medical professionals. She said that according to the title of the law, the medical method that implies that anyone is trying to confirm gender is incorrect.

She said: “Whenever this process starts, it must be treated and evaluated by psychologists and endocrinologists… There is a complete team here.”

“It is generally believed that some mothers suddenly chose their own sex when they were four years old. This did not happen at all.”

Watch | Teen says that since he started hormonal therapy to confirm gender, he has become more confident:

Dylan Brandt, 15, explained why he has felt better physically and mentally since he started taking testosterone nine months ago. 0:22

A prominent Republican defender of Arkansas law admitted that there is no evidence that parents are forcing their children to receive gender-confirmed care, which is one of the reasons for the ban.

Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge told CBC News in a brief interview last week that this law needs to protect children from “bad parents.”

Rutridge said outside the Arkansas State Capitol in Little Rock: “There are many things we don’t allow because of the maturity of these children, whether it is voting, getting married, buying cigarettes, getting tattoos, etc.”

“No one said they couldn’t do this when they were 18.”

Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge took a photo in July 2020. He said that the minor had not decided to use hormone therapy, puberty blockers or maturity of gender confirmation surgery. (Jacqueline Martin/Associated Press)

She suggested that she was worried that her child might be forced to receive gender-confirmed care by parents or adoptive parents, and she needed to protect her child from this possibility.

Rutledge said: “I’m not saying that bad parents do this, but… after working with foster children, we deal with bad parents.”

However, in response to follow-up questions from CBC News, Rutledge’s office admitted in a statement that the attorney general “is not aware of any cases involving children who have been forced to change their gender.”

Despite this, she insisted on defending the new law.

“During her 20 years in public office, she has seen too many children suffering from their parents’ physical, emotional and sexual abuse. They should not love these children as they should. This is one of the reasons why the Attorney General supports this issue. Laws “, the statement said.

Watch | Arkansas Attorney General defends transgender law:

The Attorney General of Arkansas, Leslie Rutledge, told CBC News that the new law on gender-confirming medical treatment for minors aims to protect young people from making ” They may not have a “maturity level” decision. 0:45

Wedge problem

Arkansas State Senator Joyce Elliott (Joyce Elliott) said that Republicans target the transgender community to gather members of the social conservatives in the electorate.

Democratic Senator Joyce Elliott said that transgender medical services for minors are not an issue in the state, and the new law is merely an appeal by Republicans to the social conservativeness of their constituents. A way to send members. (CBC)

In an interview outside the U.S. Capitol, Elliott said: “The way to be in power now is to create these absolutely thorny problems.”

“In Arkansas, this is not a problem, but a problem.”

University of California, Los Angeles School of Law Williams College estimate There are 1,450 trans youths in Arkansas. In the United States, there are approximately 150,000 transgender children, accounting for 0.7% of the 13 to 17-year-old population.

Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson vetoed the transgender bill, but was vetoed by the Republican majority in the state legislature. (CBC)

Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson has not filed any formal complaints in Arkansas to challenge transgender girls or women’s participation in women’s sports Tell the New York Times last month. And CBC News could not find evidence of any complaints regarding the provision of gender-confirmed medical services.

The Republican governor vetoed the Security Act, but it was vetoed by the Republican majority in the state legislature. However, he did sign two other laws and bills that affect the transgender community, including prohibiting trans women and girls from participating in school sports team competitions that match their gender identity, and a bill that allows medical workers to participate. opt out Non-emergency services based on religious or moral objections.

When asked by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC), what he would say to families considering leaving the state because of the Security Act, Hutchinson said:

“We value you; we want you to stay here. This is important to our workforce and the diversity we have. It saddens me, but I also understand the decisions that must be made for healthcare purposes.”

“Unacceptable and unnecessary”

The Brandt family is not sure what to do next, especially considering that many other states are debating similar legislation.

Dylan’s mother, Joanna Brandt, didn’t want her family to be uprooted. Single mothers own their own houses and their own small businesses. She also didn’t want to ask Dylan to suspend his transition.

Dylan walks with his 13-year-old brother Luke, his mother and their two dogs. The Brandt family is now waiting to see if the American Civil Liberties Union can successfully challenge the law in court. (CBC)

She said: “It’s amazing to see him truly become who he should be.” “And this idea can be cancelled, and all the progress he made stops, which is for all of us. Incredibly frustrating, this is indeed unacceptable and unnecessary.

“He has grown into a capable, caring, loving and happy young man.”

Watch | Dylan and his mother explained to their family the significance of obtaining gender confirmation:

Joanna and Dylan Brandt talked about why the “Save Teens from Experimentation Act” would reduce some of the progress made by transgender teenagers like Dylan in recent years. 0:36

Dylan didn’t want to leave his friends either. He said that when he appeared as a transgender two years ago, the voices of his supporters drowned out bully criticism.

Dylan said: “It’s so hard to go back now, it’s a devastating job. It will cause me great harm.”

Losing care will be a setback.Teen says

Dylan came to his mother as a transgender when she was 13 and wrote her notes about her feelings.

“I said this:’I didn’t change my identity; I just changed the way I behaved… You didn’t lose a child. I just became who I wanted to be.'” Dylan said.

“I don’t want to be your daughter anymore. I want to be your son. I am your son.”

Dylan said that before he started using testosterone about nine months ago, he often felt unhappy. He was worried about losing the opportunity to get care and the happiness he gained.

He said: “This may bring me back…even before I have no hormones.”

The American Civil Liberties Union vowed to oppose this legislation in court. If this happens, it will give Dylan some breathing opportunities, because if the law is caught in a legal dispute, he may still be taken care of.

His mother said that until she is not clear, she will continue to keep transgender-friendly places in Google searches so that she can move. Although she hopes not to have to.

Watch | Extensive legislative reforms of Arkansas law regarding transgender people:

Some families of transgender children in Arkansas worry that if they want their children to continue receiving hormone therapy or puberty blockers after banning minor treatment, they will be forced to leave the state. 5:16

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