How An Arkansas Law Impacts Our Trans Community

Sophomore+Talin+Edwards+has+a+%22Dream+Big%22+sticker+in+their+room%2C+as+well+as+a+trans+pride+flag.+%28Photo+contributed+by+Talin+Edwards%29

Sophomore Talin Edwards has a “Dream Big” sticker in their room, as well as a trans pride flag. (Photo contributed by Talin Edwards)

Maggie Roberts, Reporter

Arkansas is the first state to ban gender-affirming surgery and hormones, such as puberty blockers, for transgender youth, while fifteen other states are considering the ban. 

This ban directly affects an already vulnerable community of youth. The trans community deals with an extreme discomfort that is caused by incongruence between one’s sex assigned at birth and one’s gender identity. Hormone treatment and gender-affirming surgery are some things that helps trans people feel more comfortable in their bodies. Gender reassignment surgery has been proven to decrease the likelihood of a mood disorder — such as depression and anxiety — by eight percent a year for up to ten years. 

Sophomore Talin Edwards believes that the government should not have a say over anyone’s bodies, saying, “The ban of hormones and puberty blockers is unjust and awful. Why stop something that makes someone happier and is proven to help their mental health?” They think that mental health is very important in a person’s life, and this is something that doesn’t affect anyone besides the person choosing to get the surgery or use hormones — that shouldn’t be a concern to anyone else but that person.

An Edgewood student that would like to remain anonymous, Student A, has said that cisgendered people — people who identify with the sex they were born with — should not have a say in trans issues because they will never understand what trans people have to go through. He explained, “The ban of gender-affirming surgery and ban on hormone treatment affects me and so many others in a sense that we can never be our true selves safely.” Student A said that banning hormone treatment is worse than banning gender reassignment surgeries: “By the time most of us have finished puberty, it is very hard to get desired results and could be devastating to a person seeking HRT [hormone replacement therapy].”

The ban on hormone treatment was specifically made so that trans youth would not have access to their needed hormones, seen as lots of minors take a birth control pill which itself is a type of hormone treatment.

Student A speaks about how the saddest part about this is the discrimination: “[Discrimination is] the exact thing [that] the U.S. claims to protect against, but I guess that only applies to certain people.”