Just this month, three pieces of anti-trans legislation have been introduced in the Georgia legislature: SB 88, SB 140, and SB 141. These are the first pieces of anti-trans legislation that we have seen this session, and SPARK will immediately begin organizing against these dangerous bills in the interest of supporting our trans kin, and specifically trans youth.
SB88 was introduced on February 2. Effectively serving as Georgia’s own “Don’t Say Gay” bill,it would ban any adult at a child’s school (public or private), library, social services agency, camp, or similar program from talking with a child about the child’s sexual orientation or non-cis gender identity, even if the child initiated the conversation. The law would also require signed parent permission and an amended birth certificate to change a child’s gender or name in their school records. The statute may also be used to ban any drag queen story hour events through a provision banning the instruction of a child by any adult who is “dressed in a sexually provocative manner” according to “current community standards.” We know that this phrase is a euphemism for drag, and could also potentially be applied to any person who is visibly trans or gender non-conforming.
SB 140 was introduced on February 9. This bill would ban all gender affirming surgeries for minors in the state of Georgia, regardless of the opinions of the minor, their parents, or their doctor. The ban includes a carve-out to continue medically unnecessary and unwanted surgeries on intersex youth.
SB 141 was also introduced on February 9. This bill would ban all gender affirming care for minors, including hormones, puberty blockers, and any surgical procedures. The ban would also require teachers, school nurses, and other school staff to out trans youth to their parents. A carve-out to continue surgeries on intersex youth is included in the bill.
SPARK loudly and unapologetically opposes these pieces of transphobic legislation. We know that we are in the midst of a national political and social push to further marginalize trans people. Anti-trans legislation, even legislation that does not pass, is dangerous – the political and social normalization of transphobia creates a society where it is unsafe to be trans. Trans youth deserve to live in a world where they are loved and protected, not one where their existence is constantly debated and denied.
Queer, Trans, and questioning students have the right to speak privately with adults they trust about their gender identities and sexual orientation. Trans youth have the right to seek gender affirming care without government interference. The doctors and parents of trans youth have the right to affirm and care for trans youth without criminalization. These are true statements that SPARK will continue to repeat and organize around until trans folks have been liberated from political and social violence and oppression. Trans liberation is reproductive justice.
If you want to help fight against transphobia and anti-trans legislation here in Georgia, contact your representative and let them know that trans youth deserve protection in our state. You can also register to join SPARK’s advocacy day, Legislate This!, to gain advocacy skills and have opportunities to speak directly to your legislators.