Human Rights Are Genderless

Kylie Pavlovsky, Editor in Chief

In an age of political authority, we the people have the right to our voices. We have the right to speak freely and without much restriction. With this, we can do many things: stop a climate crisis, help those in need, change the world, but we can also do far worse. Accuse, silence, lie. Each of these is shown in the media today. It’s shown through ignorant decisions and scattered priorities. This right is being used against millions of transgender youth throughout the nation. In a time when they need help the most, they are being pushed away by some of their elected leaders, and it’s a problem. 

Hate crimes toward transgender Americans are only getting worse, but rather than combatting this crisis, government officials seek to erase their identities as a whole. On April 7th, Kansas passed a bill eradicating gender-affirming care for minors who identify as trans. Puberty blocking drugs and hormone therapy is now banned. On April 27th, they passed a bill that does not allow trans citizens to use the restroom, locker rooms, or other spaces specific to their chosen gender. This is in one month in one state in one year alone. 

Since 2023 has begun, more than 400 anti-trans bills have been proposed. Kansas won’t stop there and neither will the 49 other states. Transgender citizens in Kentucky are still fighting a recent bill where teachers are not allowed to use a student’s preferred pronouns. Meanwhile, Arizona is banning books that provide gender education, Tennessee is forcing trans youth to detransition medically, Utah requires parent consent for teachers to affirm their students’ genders in the classroom, and more. 

“These bills are going to mean fear,” junior Kacie Aldrich said. “They’re going to mean fear and they’re going to mean suffering and sadness and a lot of people will lose hope. I don’t think that it’s very bright for trans kids right now, and we’re trying. We’re trying.”

In 2015, 1 in 3 trans youth attempted suicide. In 2022, a survey out of 34,000 queer and trans youth showed 50% seriously considered suicide. The numbers are getting worse. With more and more political attempts to erase transgender people, these rates will increase rapidly. Their voices will be silenced by not only others, but by their own hands. 

“After one bill gets passed, then another one will get passed, and another one and another one. It’s going to be a domino effect, and we’re already seeing it after Kansas,” Aldrich said. “It’s just going to keep happening.”

There are other social issues that pose true danger to society in not only America but the whole world. Rather than focusing on more pressing matters, these new bills are zeroing in on taking away rights that have already been given. 

“We’re just progressing backwards with these new bills. We had already made some progress to get to where we are and the bills are now just undoing all of that effort that trans people in the past have paved the way for,” sophomore Nakabito Nantawubwa. “They’re hindering trans people from doing so many things.” 

It’s unlikely the government will stop here. Trans rights restrictions may only be the beginning. Gay marriage, further abortion restriction, contraceptives, and so many more human rights could come under fire. 

“Stopping this now not only could save a lot of people’s lives, but it could also help improve America if we help trans people,” Aldrich said. “We could stop them from hurting themselves, and it could make America a more accepting place, which is what we all want.”