In the current political climate, the trans and non-binary community is being targeted. In 2021, there were over 290 anti LGBTIQ bills introduced in various states across the county, twenty-five of which became law. Eight of those laws targeted trans and non-binary people. 2022 is on track to surpass this number.
Much of this legislation is aimed specifically at trans and nonbinary youth. For example, Texas Governor Greg Abbot in late February directed the state’s Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) to investigate parents for child abuse who supported gender affirming care to their trans and non-binary children. While Texas courts have issued restraining orders on these investigations, it is far from clear that trans and non-binary youth will have access to care.
At the committee hearing for D066, several people testified in support, including trans and non-binary people and our family and friends. Molly Wills Carnes, who lives in Texas, offered testimony as the parent of a trans daughter:
Even growing up in an affirming household, by the time our daughter was a teenager and still living as a boy, she was depressed, anxious, and finally suicidal. Experiencing the wrong puberty often triggers suicide so access to gender care for minors is critical. After coming out as transgender, the healthcare she received saved her life. The results have been lifechanging for our family. I didn’t know how much of my child I hadn’t met yet. She has blossomed into a person with a peace in her countenance and a light in her eyes we haven’t since very early childhood. She is hopeful. She is funny. She is ambitious. She is kind.
The Very Rev. Amy McCreath, Dean of the Cathedral Church of St. Paul in Boston, testified as the parent of a trans son:
As a parent, I come to you as the mother of a transgender young adult, who began his gender affirmation process in middle school. Although I have long sought to be an ally to LBGTQ youth, until MY child was wrestling for a blessing from laws and insurance policies restricting the age at which he could access various forms of medical care, I had no idea of the power of the forces threatening their emotional and physical health. Like most transgender youth, my son experienced extreme dysphoria - a feeling of being ill at ease in one’s body, and anxiety so strong that it led to periods of suicidality. …
Thanks be to God we were able to get him the psychiatric and medical care he needed to make a transition, and his belovedness was affirmed when his new name was blessed using an authorized liturgy from our Book of Occasional Services.
We thank The Episcopal Church for standing up for gender affirming care, especially when many of the voices who speak against such care do so as people of faith.