They Can’t – They Won’t – Silence Us


We are 115 days into 2023 and over twice as many anti LGBTQ laws as last year have been proposed. CNN stated that “at least 417 anti-LGBTQ bills have been introduced in state legislatures across the United States.”
“I think we’re just dropping back decades [due to] a ton of the new laws [like the Don’t Say Gay bill], not even just the anti LGBTQ laws,” senior Row Postic, an LGBTQ student that is in Gay Straight Alliance club, states. “We’re dropping back to the place of fear that was so prevalent in the 50s and the 60s.”

Anti-Trans Laws

The term “transgender” was coined by Magnus Hirschfeld, a German sexologist, in the 1942. He took the words ‘transvestite’ and ‘transsexual’ and used them to come up with the term ‘transgender’ during the 1940s.
Due to transgender people not fitting into the confines of the male-female binary (which was established with the intention of recognizing only two sexes), they face ample discrimination and difficulties when they are expected to fit into one of those boxes. Transgender children have been denied the right to gender-affirming healthcare in many states in the US.
Usually, over time, as people recognize the oppression marginalized communities face and speak up about them, the government takes legal action to rectify oppressive systems. However, that is not what is happening today. Instead of the government helping transgender individuals, some states are passing bills that are hurting those groups.
Twelve states, Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Iowa, Kentucky, Mississippi, South Dakota, Tennessee and Utah, have passed laws restricting or banning gender affirming care (the use of hormones and/or surgeries to transition) for minors and at least 19 other states want to have laws like these passed (ABC News).
Florida is attempting to put an end to trans minors on a whole different level. Floridian Republican Senator, Clay Yarborough, introduced Bill SB 254. This bill would allow a parent, without custody of their trans child, to kidnap that child from the parent with custody – if that parent is allowing the child to receive gender-affirming care – to stop them from continuing with their transition.
The prevalence of attitudes like this creates an atmosphere where trans students don’t feel safe. Most of my close friends are part of the transgender community and I can sense their fear when we walk in public. Some of them have stopped introducing themselves with their preferred name, as if not to expose themselves.
This takes away freedom from trans individuals to express themselves and identify as who they are the way cisgender individuals are able to. “And [if] this was going on, it would 100% push me back in the closet.” Postic said.

Record Breaking Numbers

Illinois, one of the more liberal states in the US, provides protection for anyone receiving gender affirming care. I am so grateful that I live here where I have laws protecting my friends and other transgender individuals.
But all around the country there are over 400 bills being introduced. For the first time ever Drag Shows are being targeted. Right-leaning individuals claim that drag queens “brainwash and endanger children.”
For instance, Colorado Representative Lauren Boebert stated in a tweet, “Take your kids to CHURCH, not drag shows.” Boebert believes that drag shows cause harm to minors and must be banned. However, no child has ever died or been harmed at a drag show as the main purpose of them is to entertain.
In the end, we are all human, and discriminating against transgender people is not only hurtful, but a human rights violation. We must remember that before we are our gender identity, we are human, and must recognize the rights we all inherently deserve.