Anti-trans legislation increases in the United States

Anti-trans legislation has been on the rise in 2023. In just this year, 487 bills have been drafted, 19 have passed and 425 are still active. These bills are passing through courts in 46 states. With them have also come anti-drag bills. Drag is defined by Merriam Webster as, “Entertainment in which performers caricature or challenge gender stereotypes (as by dressing in clothing that is stereotypical of another gender, by using exaggeratedly gendered mannerisms, or by combining elements of stereotypically male and female dress) and often wear elaborate or outrageous costumes.”

Tennessee recently passed a bill banning “adult cabaret performances,” within 100 feet of schools, places of worship and public parks. In tandem with it was a bill banning minors from receiving gender affirming care, including hormone blockers, hormone replacement therapy and surgeries.

A Texas bill designed to prevent transgender children’s access to puberty blockers and hormone therapies has progressed, meaning the Texas Senate will soon consider it. 

Puberty blockers are drugs given to transgender youth that prevent puberty from occurring. They are typically followed by hormone replacement surgery of the opposing sex. Numerous Republican-backed bills have pushed against the promotion of these medical options. These bills have come in a wave, alongside bills banning drag performances. The general consensus amongst the politicians drafting these articles is that medically transitioning minors or endorsing drag performances around minors are forms of grooming. 

Many LGBTQ advocacy groups have organized protests outside of the Texas Capitol. 

The groups lobbying against this legislation argue that these are necessary medical procedures, and that, when used to treat critical gender dysphoria, they can be lifesaving. Gender dysphoria is the diagnosable mental illness many transgender individuals receive treatment for. It is in the DSM-5 and is defined by Oxford Languages as, “The condition of feeling one’s emotional and psychological identity to be at variance with one’s birth sex.”