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Marquette Wire

Protect trans healthcare

Bills+targeting+transgender+rights+will+cross+the+desk+of+Governor+Evers+within+the+coming+weeks.
Photo by Joseph Schamber
Bills targeting transgender rights will cross the desk of Governor Evers within the coming weeks.

Last Thursday, the Republicancontrolled Wisconsin Assembly approved bills targeting transgender youth, including legislation that outlaws gender-affirming care for minors.

Governor Tony Evers promised he would veto these bills when they come to his desk. In a post on X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter, Evers said, “not one of these bills will become law in Wisconsin as long as I am governor. Period.”

 

While the governor’s veto can provide some comfort to those worried about the advancement of this bill, the Assembly did pass the bill in a 63-35 party line vote. Only three seats would have to flip Republican to give them a two-thirds majority and override a veto.

Fortunately for transgender individuals in Milwaukee, the County Board of Supervisors approved a resolution to make the city a sanctuary for transgender and nonbinary individuals, which would place prohibitions on gender-affirming care as the lowest enforcement priority for the Sheriff’s office.

However, Milwaukee County does not have the ability to fully decriminalize gender-affirming care if the GOP gets its way and passes these bans. Republican lawmakers believe they are doing the right thing for Wisconsin families, but they are only advancing the oppression of trans youth.

What is worse, these representatives are shockingly ignorant about the issue they fight so vehemently against. Wisconsin Assembly Speaker, Robin Vos, described gender-affirming care as mutilation and claimed that it was being used on children as young as 3 years old.

Instances of children transitioning at very young ages exist, but they are only undergoing social transition. Social transition is the process of changing aspects of one’s appearance, using a different name or using pronouns that are congruent with one’s gender identity.

For many children, gender dysphoria disappears when puberty begins. That is why authorities such as the World Professional Association of Transgender Health do not recommend using medical affirmation until the onset of puberty.

If gender dysphoria persists, an individual can go on puberty blockers, drugs that will pause puberty and are reversible.

Following extensive counseling and psychological evaluation, a doctor will decide when to prescribe Hormone Replacement Therapy and gender confirmation surgeries. Some individuals may also feel that their gender feels fully affirmed without the use of these treatments.

When provided correctly, gender-affirming care saves lives. Transgender adolescents show five times the risk of suicidal ideation and 7.6 times the risk of a suicide attempt as compared to the rest of the population, according to a study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal.

In a survey of more than 27,000 transgender adults in 2015, researchers found odds of psychological distress were reduced by 222% for individuals who received hormone therapy in early adolescence.

Additionally, regret following transgender treatment and detransitioning is very rare. In a review of 27 studies, researchers found it occurring on average less than 1% of the time.

Gender-affirming care is a highly individualized process that is done with careful oversight from professionals and loved ones. Claiming it as a rushed, one-size-fits-all procedure that endangers children is a horrible mischaracterization.

Leading medical organizations are overwhelmingly supportive of gender-affirming care as the safest and most effective way to treat gender dysphoria. Why should we trust GOP politicians to make decisions about trans healthcare when they are in direct opposition to the experts?

The choice to receive gender-affirming care is not one that politicians can make for people, but the Wisconsin Assembly wants to overstep medical professionals, mental health experts and families to ban it completely.

Moreover, experts suggest that Republican lawmakers’ recent fixation on trans youth is motivated by an effort to rile up their voter base, particularly evangelical voters who have unfavorable views of transgender healthcare.

They need to keep voters angry about something, and LGBTQ+ issues have historically been the most effective. If they want to continue this onslaught of trans persecution, voters who support Wisconsin’s transgender community must rise to match their fervor.

This story was written by Joseph Schamber. He can be reached at [email protected].

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About the Contributor
Joseph Schamber, Opinions Columnist
Joey Schamber is a first-year from Downers Grove, Illinois studying journalism and is an opinions columnist at the Marquette Wire for the 2023-2024 school year. Outside of the Wire he enjoys cooking, drawing and skateboarding. He is excited to be writing stories and to be active in his community!

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