Lambda Legal: States Are Knowingly Putting Trans Youths’ Lives at Risk

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“These attacks on trans youth must stop before more young people suffer needlessly because some powerful adults despise them and others don’t care enough to educate themselves.”
April 23, 2021

Today, Alabama added its name to the roster of anti-transgender bigotry. The number and breadth of sports bans and medical bans targeting transgender youth – not to mention their parents and doctors – is both legion and appalling. Lambda Legal Senior Attorney Sasha Buchert issued the following statement:

“Transgender people face harassment and abuse in almost all facets of our daily lives. The discrimination we experience is extensive, and that is even without state approval. What these state legislators and governors are doing absolutely guarantees that the stigma, harassment, and abuse will get worse, as these elected representatives seem hell-bent on penalizing that most vulnerable population – transgender youth – for being who they are and living as their authentic selves.

“Let us be clear: transgender girls are girls, and transgender boys are boys, period. The contrived definitions in this bill are designed based on ignorance to exclude a vulnerable group of young people.  Let’s not pretend these legislators care one bit about supporting girls’ sports, or opportunities for girls and women more generally.  That would involve parity of resources, including salaries and equipment, and ending gender stereotyping and discrimination. This bill’s supporters aren’t suggesting any of that. Their claim instead that this ban will ‘protect’ girls’ sports would be laughable were it not so deeply harmful and manifestly hypocritical. These attacks on trans youth must stop before more young people suffer needlessly because some powerful adults despise them and others don’t care enough to educate themselves.

“Trans youth, with the support of their families, are taking an important and necessary step to be themselves. And they simply want to participate in school sports with their peers as they’ve been doing safely and equally for years. Can we not just let the kids play?”

To date, there have been more than 100 bills introduced in state legislatures targeting transgender youth. Today, Alabama joined Mississippi, Arkansas, and Tennessee where governors have signed these discriminatory and harmful bills into law. And South Dakota Gov, Kristi Noem, while not signing that legislature’s ban, immediately issued an Executive Order implementing a ban.

Lambda Legal, along with our sister organizations, continues to monitor this incredibly dangerous onslaught and will take whatever steps are necessary to fight these discriminatory and harmful bills. Transgender youth, their families, and their supporters are encouraged to contact the Lambda Legal Help Desk to confront this discrimination.

We at Lambda Legal are also deeply mindful of how damaging and upsetting these attacks can be on trans youth. Please, if you are feeling suicidal, or lonely or isolated, reach out to the Trevor Project Hotline, 1-866-488-7386. Know that you are not alone.


Contact Info

Tom Warnke, Cell: 213-841-4503: Email: twarnke@lambdalegal.org