In trying to solve a problem that doesn’t exist, anti-trans bills like L.D. 1401 (among hundreds of others being considered across the country) hurt people most in need of our support, and help no one.

This is quite literally a life-and-death issue. When prevented from transitioning, about 40 percent of trans kids will attempt suicide. But if trans kids are able to transition socially early, and then receive the proper health care to transition physically later, their mental health outcomes are similar to their cisgender counterparts. Why stop a process that only helps people?

The American Academy of Pediatrics notes that kids typically express gender by age 4. From there until adolescence, transition is entirely social. The first medical intervention is 100 percent safe, and temporary: hormone blockers just to delay puberty. This buys valuable time as people develop their identities more fully. By the time people are in their mid to late teens, they can start hormone therapy.

The scare tactics of suggesting that young children are getting hormone therapy or surgery do real harm to real people. Take the time to talk to a trans person, or do some research, and you’ll see that discriminatory anti-trans bills help no one and hurt vulnerable populations. I urge everyone to reject this regressive legislation, which ignores science and attacks people just for being themselves.

Nicholas Whiston
Cumberland Foreside

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