Reproductive Justice Is For Everyone—Including Trans Youth In Georgia
We are sad and angry that Georgia’s governor has signed Senate Bill 140, a deadly bill to ban hormone replacement therapy and gender-affirming surgeries for trans youth under the age of 18. Despite Georgians’ overwhelming opposition to SB 140, on March 21 the state legislature passed this bill, and today, March 23, Governor Kemp signed it into law. In addition to denying care to trans minors that can be life-saving, it allows their doctors to be held criminally or civilly liable for practicing according to the standard of care. While this law denies gender-affirming medical care for trans youth, it will in contrast protect medical providers who harm intersex children by performing unnecessary surgeries. This is an attack on multiple communities.
To our trans community members, we want to make two things very clear:
- This law takes effect on July 1, 2023, but any minor under 18 who started HRT before July 1 can continue that care. The Atlanta Trans Resource Guide can help you find transition-related medical providers in the Metro Atlanta area.
- Wherever you are in your healthcare journey and no matter what the law says— you are loved; you deserve safety and care; and you can count on us. Please visit the Trans Lifeline if you are in need.
This law is harmful. It panders to extremist partisan lobbyists and the minority of people who want to further marginalize an already singled-out and oppressed group: trans and gender-expansive minors. As Georgia organizations fighting for reproductive health, rights, and justice, we have strongly opposed SB 140 since its inception. Grounded in our commitment to bodily autonomy, we believe the decision to pursue gender-affirming care is best made between trans youth, their caregivers and healthcare professionals—without meddling lawmakers. To this end, healthcare providers serving trans youth should not be criminalized simply for following the rigorous standards of care established by the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH) and the lived experiences of trans people.
Just like their cisgender counterparts, trans minors deserve to experience their youth in embodied and affirming ways. Gender-affirming care sets trans youth up to exist in their fullness—in sports, education, relationships, employment and ultimately public life. We imagine a world where trans children get to live their full authentic lives on their own terms. Trans youth deserve the support and care that is necessary for them to not only survive, but to thrive.
We are asking for sustained, public solidarity with trans youth from all our organizations’ supporters and all people allied with trans minors. At this time, trans youth need assurance that there is a strong coalition of people working to protect and honor their existence. SB 140 may have been signed into law, but we will never stop fighting.
In the face of continuous attacks on trans people, particularly trans youth, it is important to remember that transness is not solely a site of discrimination and sorrow, but can also be a source of connection and joy. Take action with us next week in honor of Trans Day of Visibility (TDOV). Although “visibility” alone will not lead us to trans liberation, TDOV is a time to come together as a community and celebrate transness and raise awareness. In a time when our identities are being legislated out of existence, the celebration of trans life is a powerful act of resistance. Some upcoming Georgia TDOV events include:
- March 26-31, SPARK Reproductive Justice NOW’s TDOV programming to celebrate our Black trans communities and trans communities of color.
- March 28, Trans Liberation Day at the Capitol, organized by local organizers, activists, and community leaders across movements for trans, environmental, immigrant, and racial justice.
- March 30, local drag collectives Chapel Beauty and Amen are hosting an all-Black trans drag show at Noni’s Deli to raise funds for local trans organizations and mutual aid; and trans-led AAPI drag show (Persuasians) at Mary’s in East Atlanta Village.
- March 31, rallies with Queer Youth Assemble in Atlanta (Georgia Capitol) and Gainesville.
For trans folks and the caretakers of trans youth, we are living in a difficult time. It can be scary to be trans right now, especially as lawmakers continue pushing legislation targeting trans people. But through sustained action, we can win. We will continue to fight for and stand in solidarity with trans people across our state. The liberation of trans people is necessary for the liberation of us all.
SPARK Reproductive Justice NOW!
URGE: Unite for Reproductive & Gender Equity
Access Reproductive Care – Southeast
Amplify Georgia Collaborative
Feminist Women’s Health Center
Planned Parenthood Southeast Advocates
NARAL Pro-Choice Georgia