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What’s Driving The Spate Of Anti-Transgender State Legislation?

A Black Trans Lives Matte flag is flown during a BTLM march in London, England.
A Black Trans Lives Matte flag is flown during a BTLM march in London, England.

record number of bills targeting transgender people have been introduced in state legislatures across the country.

A significant number of these bills target trans youth. These include bills limiting access to gender-affirming health care and bills prohibiting trans kids from participating in school sports.

The 19th* spoke with one mother in Mississippi about it.

Mississippi resident Katy Binstead said she worries about her daughter, after her principal told her she couldn’t play basketball with other middle schoolers.

“My daughter isn’t comfortable playing with the boys because she’s not a boy, and she never has been a boy,” Binstead said.  “And they’re saying she can’t play girls’ basketball, based on a gender assigned at birth.”

But for Binstead, the issues go beyond what team her daughter plays on. “There’s so many mental health issues at play here,” she said. “A lot of kids that are transgender, if they’re not affirmed, the mental health risk of them dying by suicide is quite high.”

Critics of the bills say they represent a centralized effort to make policy changes at the state level. The language used, especially in the bills concerning sports, is often interchangeable or very similar.

Why are these anti-transgender bills being introduced now? And what do they mean for the future of LGBTQ rights?

Copyright 2021 WAMU 88.5. To see more, visit WAMU 88.5.

Arfie Ghedi