Republicans Want to Ban Social Transition

Written by SK Ashby

Republican lawmakers across the country have already made attempts to ban or codified laws to criminalize the act of providing transition-related health care to minors, but they aren't going to stop there.

While this language has not found it's way into legislation yet, Republicans who control the Florida state government under Governor Ron DeSantis have signaled where the next flashpoint in the war against transgender rights will be by releasing guidance against social transition; meaning they want to stop minors from wearing clothes or makeup that's appropriate for them.

The state’s guidance recommends against gender-affirming treatment for people under the age of 18, including surgery as well as the prescription of hormone therapy or puberty blockers, which suppress the release of testosterone or estrogen.

Florida’s updated guidance also said social transition — things like using a different name, pronouns or style of dress— should not be a treatment option. [...]

The state’s guidance runs counter to recommendations from major medical organizations, including the American Medical Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Psychiatric Association, who follow guidance on the treatment of gender dysphoria released by the World Professional Association for Transgender Health.

There's not much social or legal distance between this and telling gay people they should not dress flamboyantly and the latter was actually codified into law in some states in the not-too-distant past.

This guidance from the state's health department has the endorsement of Governor Ron DeSantis who is a potential frontrunner for the GOP's presidential nomination in 2024. The direction he leads his government is the direction the entire Republican party could take if he enters the race or merely spurs other presidential hopefuls to widen their own wars against transgender people.

We would still be mired in the anti-gay culture war of previous decades if the Republicans thought they could get away with it, but they can't. That makes transgender girls like me their next best target. Transphobia is the last acceptable form of homophobia and they can still get away with using the power of the state to discriminate against us.

I recently had an appointment with my hair dresser who asked me why this is all happening. She looked toward me and said "you're not bothering anyone" and she incidentally made a bigger point than she realized. I'm glad she sees me as a good example, but the bigger picture is that most of us spend a lot of time, energy, and money just trying to blend in with everyone else. We don't want to draw attention to ourselves. We're just trying to live our lives like everyone else. We enjoy corny music, shitty beer, and hot dogs just like every other American. It's the GOP that has made us into an issue.