Jayapal: Federal protections for trans kids ‘cannot wait any longer’

Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) speaks to a reporter regarding following the final vote of the week on Thursday, March 3, 2022.
Greg Nash

Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.), who is a mother to a transgender child, penned an op-ed published by Teen Vogue on Thursday, International Transgender Day of Visibility, calling for federal protections for transgender children.

“Like hundreds of thousands of parents with transgender kids across the country, I want to do everything I can to support my daughter as she strives to embrace who she is and live as her most authentic self,” Jayapal wrote.

“But I also worry deeply that the world we live in now doesn’t receive her in the same way — that she will face violence and barriers that we know are there for too many transgender people.”

The congresswoman noted the higher degree of harassment and mental illness that transgender children face and accused Republicans of worsening these problems by using transgender youth as a “political wedge issue.”

She pointed to the bill recently passed in Texas that classified gender-affirming care for children as child abuse. Jayapal called the legislation “unconstitutional” and “openly discriminatory and hostile to the well-being of these children.” The bill was halted by a Texas appeals court earlier this month.

The congresswoman also noted a similar bill in Idaho that would make gender-affirming youth health care a felony. The measure was passed in the Idaho state House of Representatives earlier this month, but Idaho Senate Republicans declined to vote on it on the basis that it undermined parental rights and allows the government to interfere in parents’ decisions for their children.

“Both of these bills are fueled by a cocktail of ignorance, transphobia, and malice for trans kids, their parents, and the doctors and the communities who want to help them. The bills are an outrageous violation of human rights,” Jayapal wrote. “That’s why today, as we celebrate Transgender Day of Visibility, I stand with every single trans child and the parents who support them.”

“The suffering of transgender children is not inevitable. It is our job — as leaders, as parents, as legislators — to push back on the attacks and to move us forward again toward true equality and justice,” she added.

Tags anti-transgender legislation Idaho Pramila Jayapal Pramila Jayapal Pramila Jayapal Texas Transgender Day of Visibility transgender rights transgender youth Transgender youth

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