Trans people will not be erased

“Trans people are your teachers in what it means to achieve self-realized freedom.”


Courtesy of Sasha Colby | Wikimedia Commons

Upon being crowned winner of RuPaul’s Drag Race season 15, aired April 14th, Sasha Colby said “This goes to every trans person past, present, and future because we are not going anywhere.”

LUCY PERRY, Guest columnist

Homophobia and transphobia are social phenomena that have molded and changed over time, but what remains the same are the deadly consequences they produce for LGBTQIA+ youth.  

Trans people, and specifically trans people of color, face some of the highest impacts of marginalization, being at much higher risk for all types of violence, mental health struggles, and homelessness compared to cisgender populations, according to the National Center for Transgender Equality.

The reality for trans people in this country is often a terrifying one. Trans people have higher rates of depression associated with gender dysphoria, or the “a sense of unease that a person may have because of a mismatch between their biological sex and their gender identity,” according to a 2022 study by Jack Turban.  

Gender-affirming care is one treatment for this, and is vital to many trans people.  

Hormones and puberty blockers have been shown to drastically reduce depression and suicidal ideation for trans youth by 73%, according to a 2022 study by researcher Diana Tordoff. These medical processes have existed even before they were institutionally practiced in healthcare and have helped thousands of trans people, like the recently crowned queen of season fifteen of RuPaul’s Drag Race Sasha Colby, achieve happiness and self-realization.  

Yet, this life-saving care is being restricted in many states, like our own neighbor Idaho, that are passing bans on these treatments. Currently, 29% of transgender youth live in states that have recently passed bans on gender-affirming care, according to the Human Rights Campaign.  

The power behind these anti-trans bills and their ability to sweep the country so rapidly come from far-right religious lobbying groups and firms like the Conservative Political Action Committee, the Independent Women’s Forum and Alliance Defending Freedom. These groups are equipped with lawyers and other powerful resources and have ties with lawmakers all over the country.

With these resources they can explicitly (and unlawfully) expedite bills that target trans people and jeopardize their lives, as admitted in a recent conference for one of these groups, according to an essay by reporter Madison Pauly. 

Trans people deserve to experience the fullness of queer joy and to live their lives authentically. Painting trans people as trying to abduct children into their “ideology” is a myth that is costing trans people, with specific emphasis on trans people of color, their lives. These laws will undoubtedly be used to justify hate crimes and violence.

Why are some of the most marginalized people in this country, who face the worst societal circumstances, being encouraged to be legally and medically eliminated by the state? Where is the sociopolitical progress in protecting people of color?  

Trans people are the same people that made LGBTQIA+ pride possible. They are not scary monoliths, they are your neighbors and your healthcare workers, your childcare workers and your coworkers. They deserve to live. They are your teachers in what it means to achieve self-realized freedom.