Recently, two state representatives from Ohio introduced the “Protect Vulnerable Children Act,” and, contrary to the persuasive wording of the bill, it’s a direct attack on transgender youth’s rights.
The bill seeks to restrict doctors from performing gender-identity procedures on transgender youth at the risk of being charged with a third-degree felony. While many may be supporting the bill thinking it’s in the best interest of the youth in question, it does more harm than good.
An extensive survey of over 20,000 transgender adults found that those who received surgeries were less likely to have suicidal thoughts and actions. In addition, very few transgender youth get medical procedures performed before they’re legal adults.
Instead, “puberty blockers,” are used to either repress testosterone or estrogen production. Those puberty blockers are nearly completely reversible and delay of voice changes, breast development as well as other secondary sex characteristics. Stopping the medication allows the changes to resume taking place, and therefore allows children to take more time to explore gender identities.
“My number one concern, by far and away, is the irreversible nature of these procedures,” Rep. Ron Hood, a Republican from Asheville, said.
If the “irreversible nature” was actually a concern, Hood would have addressed the decrease in suicidal thoughts in transgender adults who received gender-related procedures. Nothing is more irreversible than suicide, especially when it could’ve been prevented.
Letting transgender people exist peacefully doesn’t intrude on anyone’s rights. Trans people are people, so don’t let personal beliefs influence the laws of the land.
Elected government officials should understand that the system of beliefs and values that they follow are not directly representative of the people in their areas. They should operate with discretion and stop seeking out groups of people to disadvantage just because they are living life differently.
Jack Hiltner is a freshman studying strategic communication at Ohio University. Please note that the views and opinions of columnists do not represent those of The Post. Want to talk to Jack? Tweet him @HiltnerJack.