Reproductive freedom has been making headlines a lot this year, but did you know that the same groups that fought to get Roe overturned are also the ones behind all the anti-trans legislation exploding across the country? This year alone, 586 anti-trans bills have been introduced in state houses across the nation. This number grows so often, that we’ve had to update our stats while writing and researching about this topic. By the time you read this, it could be even more.

So what are these anti-trans laws about? It’s usually targeting things like which bathroom kids can use, what sports teams they can play on, and whether or not they’re allowed to choose their own pronouns at school. And now some states have moved beyond trying to control trans students in the classroom, and are banning gender-affirming care. 

Okay, so what is that exactly? Gender-affirming care is as simple as allowing a child to wear their hair in a style they feel better suits them, choosing clothes they feel comfortable in, or picking a name that better represents them. Gender affirming care is simply validating how the child feels, and it goes a long way towards making them feel safe and accepted. 

Extremists like to hide behind the slogan “protect the children,” but in reality it’s about controlling children and teaching them that there is only one ‘right’ way to be. The fact is these anti-trans bills are causing a lot of harm to LGBTQ+ kids. Studies have shown that anti-trans bills increase depression, anxiety and even thoughts of suicide in kids and teens. And LGBTQ+ youth are already at an increased risk of depression and suicide. That’s really heartbreaking.

As parents, educators, and community members, it’s up to all of us to ensure every kid grows up feeling safe, valued, and loved. We don’t have to sit on the sidelines – We can help. We know that all students benefit from a safe learning environment, so we can be an advocate for schools that are accepting of all students. And we can be an ally and a safe space for the LGBTQ+ community. Stay tuned for more info over the next couple of weeks on easy actions you can take to help.