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Indiana HB 1118 threatens trans rights yet again

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by Shakeela Ameera

Another anti-trans bill was proposed in the House of Representatives on January 10. The proposed legislation, HB1118, aims to strip transgender people 18 years and younger of the right to seek life-saving affirmation care. The bill states that any medical professional–including school counselors, nurses, those of behavioral health or human services and psychologists–who “affirms, reinforces, or attempts to change” someone’s gender identity to match their gender identity instead of their assigned sex at birth could be charged with a Class A felony and/or have their licenses removed. The bill defines affirmative care as “child abuse,” which also puts caring parents of transgender youth in danger for supporting their child’s transition. These charges could be pursued even when the trans minor is 20 years old, so if it is discovered that a 19 year-old transitioned at 16, medical professionals and parents could still be charged. 

The bill’s sponsor, Republican Representative Lorissa Sweet, ran her campaign on protecting “individual liberties,” such as the “right to make decisions concerning the health of you and your family” and  “limited government.” She claims she’s “pro-life” and that she believes kids “need protection.” This blatantly discourages medical professionals from and punishes medical professionals for doing their jobs by allowing and helping trans youth transition. These procedures include puberty blockers, hormone therapy and surgeries, with puberty blockers and hormone therapy being the most common forms of medical transitioning trans youth seek. Puberty blockers and hormone therapy have been shown to be safe, reversible, effective and critically life saving for transgender youth. Transgender youth who are denied affirmative care are 4 times more likely to struggle with depression and 9 times more likely to attempt suicide than cisgendered youth. 

As we have in the past, the Indianapolis branch of the Party for Socialism and Liberation is not letting this go without a fight. This is yet another attempt to control and harm transgender youth and we will fight back. Under a socialist government, all forms of bigotry, discrimination and the promotion of hatred against transgender and queer people will be eliminated. There will be sustained public education promoting unity, solidarity and respect of and for gender identity and gender expression, where the evils of sexism and anti-LBGT bigotry will be exposed. Socialist liberation inherently means trans liberation. We must fight to protect our trans youth from bigoted lawmakers attempting to erase them by any means necessary. Demand that Indiana Representatives stop HB 1118 from passing now!

We are asking all of our members and supporters to support the ACLU of Indiana’s LGBTQ Statehouse Day action on Monday, January 30.