How’s The Right’s War On Trans Kids Going? Good Christ It’s Awful

The ongoing rightwing panic over transgender young people keeps chugging along, because the GOP loves traditional families so much it wants to force everyone into one. The only good thing to say about it is that while these campaigns are finding some success, resistance from families and allies of trans kids is also growing.

Louisiana: Another Ban On Trans Athletes

On Monday, Louisiana became the whateverth state to ban transgender women and girls from being on sports teams consistent with their gender, after Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards refused to either sign or veto an anti-trans bill passed by the state Legislature, goddamn it. Last year, Edwards vetoed a similar bill, so Republicans in the Lege just went and passed it all over again in the current session. Edwards said at a news conference Monday that it was clear Republicans had the votes to override a veto, so even though he opposed the measure, he allowed it to slink into law.

“Whether it’s intended or not, the effect is to tell – send a strong message to at least some of these young people that they shouldn’t be who they think they are, who they believe they are, who they know that they are,” he said. “And I find that very distressing. I do believe that we can be better than that.”

Edwards should have vetoed it and made them override, if you ask us, but Louisiana never does.

The ban will apply to all public elementary and secondary schools and colleges, as well as to some private ones that receive state funding, just to be assholes about it. The bill also includes provisions shielding schools that enforce the ban from any legal action, which sounds constitutionally hinky to our not-a-lawyer ears, and it will allow cisgender athletes to sue if they believe they were “deprived of an athletic opportunity” because a trans athlete was illegally allowed to compete.

Such bills are allegedly meant to “protect the integrity” of women’s sports, an area of athletic competition Republicans usually ignore or openly mock. But now they have a chance to stir up hatred among the fuckchud base, so suddenly the GOP cares a whole bunch about women’s sports, as long as they don’t actually have to watch any of the games. CNN helpfully notes that a 2017 report found that there hasn’t actually been any “direct or consistent research” showing that trans women have any athletic advantage, but why let facts get in the way of a good panic? [CNN / NIH]

Ohio: Genital-Exam Bill Not Just Invasive, Also Unethical As Fuck

Last week we let you know about Ohio’s weirdass ban on trans athletes in school sports, which takes the cruelty up a notch by allowing anyone, literally ANYONE, to demand that any school athlete be subjected to an examination by a physician that would include “external and internal genital inspections,” testosterone level checks, and genetic tests if that school athlete is suspected of maybe being trans.

Read More: Ohio Republicans Demand Right To Inspect Children’s Genitals

As Robyn noted in that story, there’s currently precisely one trans girl playing organized school sports in Ohio; she’s a high school junior who loves being on her school’s softball team, and the integrity of the sport has suffered no discernible damage.

This week the Columbus Dispatch published a fact check and update on the bill, confirming most of what’s already been reported and adding details about Ohio doctors’ objections to being asked to perform a pelvic exam on a girl who has no medical need of one. The exam

could include ultrasound and/or insertion of a doctor’s hand to confirm the presence of a uterus and ovaries, said Melissa Wervey Arnold, CEO for Ohio’s chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics.

“People need to understand that this is not standard practice,” Arnold said. “Adult males and females do have their genitals examined, but that’s not standard practice in pediatric care.”

Arnold said multiple doctors have already told the association that they would be uncomfortable with the law, and that they might well refuse to perform such an exam on a minor child, because “First, do no harm” and stuff.

Democratic state Rep. Beth Liston, now a professor of pediatrics at Ohio State University, said she would have refused if one of her minor patients asked.

Aside from the stigma of having your identity questioned, the Dublin Democrat said, an exam that involves insertion to check for a cervix could be emotionally damaging and even traumatizing to a young girl. That’s why children’s hospitals have specially trained staff who examine minor victims of sexual abuse

OK, but what about the rights of transphobes to get confirmation of their suspicions that a girl on the track team looks a little too butch, huh?

Liston said that, since the bill would, like others of its ilk, allow lawsuits by cis athletes who feel “discriminated” against, schools would likely pull any girl from competition if her sex were questioned (again, by any rando who demands it). That, or they might make all girls get the exams in order to compete, which might just depopulate some teams.

“She’s way too tall. She’s way too good. She doesn’t look like a girl to me. She doesn’t ever wear dresses. These are things that can prompt a question,” Liston said.

As an example of how awful this would absolutely get, Ben Ferree, a former Ohio High School Athletic Association employee, recalled a state lawmaker who was absolutely certain a trans girl was unfairly running amok in eighth-grade basketball, it just wasn’t FAIR!

“We didn’t have a record of a trans athlete being at that school or even that sport, so we called to check,” Ferree said. “The school told us, ‘They’re probably thinking about this girl who is very large for an eighth-grade girl and has a short haircut.'”

Aha! But if they didn’t do an invasive exam, how do they know she wasn’t just lying about really being a girl?

As of yet, no amendments have yet been added to allow retroactive demands for pelvic exams so that decades-old suspicions and grudges can be settled. Maybe that’s more of an Idaho idea. [Columbus Dispatch]

Texas: Parents Sue To Stop ‘Abuse’ Investigations For Gender Affirming Care

Content warning: Story discusses an attempted suicide; if you need support, contact the the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline by calling 800-273-8255 or texting 741741. For LGBTQ+ mental health support, the Trevor Project’s support line is available 24/7 at 866-488-7386.

Finally, an update on the continuing fuckery by Texas officials against parents of trans kids. Three Texas families, with help from the ACLU and Lambda Legal, are suing to block Governor Greg Abbott’s instructions to state agencies to investigate parents for “child abuse” if they authorize gender-affirming care for their minor kids. In March, a judge enjoined the state from continuing one such investigation, but the order applied only to the one family. At least nine Texas families are currently under investigation by the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services for the “offense” of providing such care for their kids.

Read More:

Texas AG And Gov Just Made It Illegal To Provide Medical Care To Trans Kids, All By Their Lonesomes

What IS Gender Affirming Health Care For Kids Anyway, Because Texas Is Super F*cking Lying About It Right?

Texas Won’t Be Able To Throw People In Jail For Being Good Parents To Trans Kids … For Now

The new lawsuit aims at stopping any current or future investigations, and would also block Texas from investigating any families that belong to the advocacy group PFLAG, too. The filing notes that PFLAG currently has more than 600 members in 17 Texas chapters.

There’s also some horrible news contained in the lawsuit, the Texas tribune reports:

According to the lawsuit, a 16-year-old transgender boy tried to kill himself the same day that Abbott issued the child abuse directive.

“[He] said that the political environment, including Abbott’s Letter, and being misgendered at school, led him to take these actions,” the lawsuit said.

He survived the attempt and was admitted to an outpatient psychiatric facility, where staff learned that he was undergoing hormone therapy. A week after he was discharged, an investigator from DFPS visited the family’s home and, according to the lawsuit, said that the psychiatric facility had reported the family for child abuse. The family remains under investigation.

Jesus fucking Christ. If a trans kid gets treatment for a suicide attempt in Texas, their family could end up under investigation. Gee, what sort of effect might that have on people in crisis seeking help, Governor Abbott, you evil creep?

Yes, yes, you’re all about helping “protect families,” no matter how many kids have to die. [Texas Tribune]

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