Every day my online newsfeed is filled with reports about conservative attempts at discrimination against trans folks. Often times the target of these transphobic attacks tends to be most vulnerable of us, trans youth. From bullying to school bathroom bills and reparative therapies, trans kids are of getting a large brunt of society’s transphobia.
All the more appalling are deceitful tactics conservative groups use to spread misinformation and lies about transgenderism that negatively affect transgender kids. Take for example, the American College of Pediatricians. They present themselves as a group of medical providers, in order to spread misinformation about LGBTQI youth. Their name is designed to be confused with the American Academy of Pediatrics, which is legit organization which has around 60,000 members. The Southern Poverty Law Center has designated the American College of Pediatricians as a hate group for their anti-LGBT positions.
The American College of Pediatricians claim that affirming trans children’s gender identities causes harm and “urges educators and legislators to reject all policies that condition children to accept as normal a life of chemical and surgical impersonation of the opposite sex,” saying, “When an otherwise healthy biological boy believes he is a girl, or an otherwise healthy biological girl believes she is a boy, an objective psychological problem exists that lies in the mind not the body, and it should be treated as such.”
This anti-trans rhetoric has been dispelled by the medical and psychological community and a recent study found that transgender children thrive when their parents, family and communities embrace their gender identities. But this sinister type of disinformation is what leads to well-meaning, but uninformed legislators, and school boards attempting to pass anti-transgender bathrooms bills, like the one recently proposed in Tennessee aimed at transgender students. However, after meeting with trans students, lawmakers changed their minds about the bill, and thankfully it died in committee.
Even worse, these groups continue to promote harmful conversion therapies that have been discredited for decades. These practices, which aim to “fix” queer and trans youth, often inflict physical or mental harm to LGBTQI children and minors and can lead to anxiety, drug use, homelessness, and suicide. Twenty one states and the District of Columbia either have or have introduced legislation outlawing “conversion” or “reparative” therapies.
Sadly, until society learns to accept transgender people and specifically trans children and minors for the genders they truly are, groups like this will continue to spread their hate.