Republican lawmakers push bill compelling state employees to report gender nonconformity to parents

Republican lawmakers push bill compelling state employees to report gender nonconformity to parents

On Monday, Republican lawmakers in North Carolina introduced an anti-trans bill with fresh waves of discrimination and hate embedded into its spirit. Senate Bill 514 would bar physicians from providing gender-affirming health care, like hormones, puberty blockers, and surgeries on people under the age of 21 by defining people between 18 and 21 as minors, as reported by NBC News. Like other legislation cropping up around this nation, physicians who provided gender-affirming care anyway would risk fines and having their medical licenses revoked.

In the “Youth Health Protection Act,” however, Republicans don’t stop there. In fact, the bill seeks to force state employees (so, for example, public school teachers) to notify parents if the child displays “gender nonconformity” or symptoms of gender dysphoria. In this case, the state employee would be compelled to notify each parent or guardian in writing. State employees are also explicitly barred from advising minors from withholding information from their parents. What does all of this really mean? Trans and questioning youth would be at even greater risk of being outed and have even fewer resources for support. 

Disturbingly, this measure also targets mental health. For example, the bill gives permission for parents or guardians to withhold consent for not only physical treatment or “activities” but for mental health services if it has to do with the minor’s “conceptions” of sex and gender or “treating gender nonconformity or dysphoria.” As we know, gender-affirming care—including mental health care—is life-saving care. It is hard enough to access trans-inclusive medical care in this nation as it is. Healthcare should be safe, affordable, and accessible, not shut down by parents. 

As is the case with many of these anti-trans bills, the measure defines sex as based on chromosomes, endogenous hormone profiles, and sex organs. Notably, this bill would also forbid any state office or organization from barring or punishing individuals who provide therapy based on their religious beliefs or “conscious.” What immediately comes to mind? Conversion therapy. 

Another aspect of this legislation that’s important to discuss is the term “gender nonconforming” itself. What does that mean? It really depends on who you ask. Some trans folks might consider themselves to be gender non-conforming. Some cisgender queer people, like, for example, gay men and lesbians, might also classify themselves as that way. That said, this legislation doesn’t care about how you self-identify. Would a cisgender woman who dresses in men’s clothes for whatever reason end up being reported upon to her parents? What about a cisgender, heterosexual man who wears nail polish or makeup? The list of scenarios goes on.

And when we consider implicit bias and who is generally targeted in say, a school setting, this area becomes even murkier and concerning—say, for example, a high schooler of color wears the same outfit as a white peer. Would they both be seen as equally gender “conforming” or not? Would they both be reported upon immediately? The whole thing is a tunnel of disaster, stereotypes, and profiling. 

If enacted, the bill would go into effect on October 1, 2021. Mind you, while there are Republican strongholds in both houses in North Carolina, this bill likely has too much overreach to actually move forward. But even if these bills don’t become law, the sheer speed and intensity of these anti-trans legislations set a tone of concerning normality for such hate and division. And for the LGBTQ young people who hear and see this coverage, also truly terrifying. 

From Daily Kos at Read More. This article is republished from DailyKos under an open content license. Read the original article at DailyKos.

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