Florida Detransition Bill
On Friday, November 4th of 2022, a rule, effectively de-transitioning (the reversal or cessation of gender transition) Florida transgender youth was approved by several medical boards within the state. These state boards claim to find no conclusive evidence as to the effectiveness of puberty-blockers or Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT). This contradicts the research done by the national medical boards, such as the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and American Psychological Association (APA), which both found the above treatments to effectively reduce the emotional distress and the risk of suicide amongst transgender youth.
This Florida Bill comes as the result of a moral panic perpetuated by the GOP, magnified by the spotlight placed on de-transitioned adults who underwent gender-affirming care as youth. It should be noted that detransitioners are rare. Yet, the few that exist are often used in a conservative narrative, and often take a T.E.R.F (Trans Exclusionary Radical Feminist) stance. Though wholly valid in their identity, detransitioned people should not be the spokespeople against treatment that, while didn’t work for them, works for thousands of others.
Another common argument is against the use of puberty-blockers, which are often employed to pause and/or the delay the effects of puberty on a transgender child. Although opposers claim that puberty-blockers are irreversible and thus harmful, this is not true. Puberty blockers are pills that need to be regularly consumed, halting puberty until the medication is no longer ingested. The effects of these, are easily reversible, as not intaking the medication will allow puberty to continue normally. Like the HRT, it requires informed consent, so that the guardian will be allowing something they understand the effects of.
Well-researched too, are the benefits of social transition, yet in guidelines published in April of this year, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and his State Surgeon General Joseph Ladapo assert “Social gender transition should not be a treatment option for children or adolescents”. Social transition is imperative for many trans youth; hearing one’s chosen name, wearing gender affirming clothing and having hair that more so aligns with their identity. This is nothing short of trans-erasure.
In 2022, Florida has been a driving force in anti-queer legislation. The “Don’t Say Gay” bill notably sought to silence teachers from speaking about LGBT identities, even if they themselves are apart of the community. The “Stop WOKE Act” adds onto this, limiting protected speech in classrooms and workplaces about race, gender, and discrimination.
At the same time as the midterm elections, the bill opens up to its comment period. It is pivotal for the people to denounce this attack and vote out the GOP politicians who serves the will of the electoral college more than they serve the will of people.
Written by: Lee Iraheta
Edited by: Celine Chiang