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Demonstrators protesting anti-trans bills outside the State Capitol in Arkansas – Photo: Sydney Rasch/ACLU of Arkansas.
Joanna Brandt, the mother of a 15-year-old trans son, said she had to make “tough decisions” in her child’s best interests over the years, noting that she had carefully weighed and considered all options before deciding to allow her son to receive gender-affirming medical care, in consultation with his personal physician. Personalized Dear Mom Thanks For Wiping My Butt Mug
“I didn’t make that choice lightly…. I sought the advice and expertise of medical professionals,” Brandt said. “The idea of consulting lawmakers never occurred to me because they should not have a part in these decisions. I did my research. I educated myself on our options and thought long and hard on what I felt was in his best interest.
“Today, after two years of therapy, doctor’s visits and almost 18 months of gender-affirming hormone therapy, Dylan is happy, healthy, confident and hopeful for his future,” she said. “My son will be devastated if he is forced to stop his hormone treatment. All of the progress that he has made, all the plans to be able to graduate from high school and go off to college, presenting outwardly in the full expression of how he feels on the inside, would come to a screeching halt.”
Transgender actress Laverne Cox said it was “exhausting” for transgender people and youth to be dealing with attacks against them in addition to the problems they face due to discrimination or lack of resources.
Cox said the Arkansas bill — as well as a similar one in her home state of Alabama — have to be viewed as a continuation of ongoing attempts to stigmatize or marginalize transgender people, beginning with the spate of “bathroom bills” introduced in various legislatures just a few years ago.
“It seems so insane, but what I see in the media are efforts to dehumanize and stigmatize trans folk, to objectify reduce us to our bodies and medical procedures. And I have to say, I’ve been reticent to speak out about this, honestly, because I’m tired and I don’t want to have conversations with and about trans people that dehumanize us,” Cox said. “I’ve met so many young people who’ve said that access to health care has saved their lives. And when we deny that access to health care to trans youth, we know that there are higher rates of suicide, higher rates of depression.