Protect the Gender Identity of LGBTQ+ Youth in Ohio

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If you thought that the U.S. is a golden paradise for transgender youth, then you are sadly mistaken, my friend. We're back at it again, fighting to defend the rights of LGBTQ+ youth from unfair and potentially dangerous legislations created in the name of so-called “parental rights.”

     Introducing Ohio House Bill 658, brought to you by none other than Tom Brinkman and Paul Zeltwanger. To quote directly from Section 2131.141 of the bill itself (which you can download a PDF copy of here), “The parents, guardian, or custodian, in exercising the fundamental right to care for their child, may withhold consent for gender dysphoria treatment or activities that are designed and intended to form a child's conceptions of sex and gender. The state, its agents, and political subdivisions shall not infringe upon or impede the exercise of this right.”

     Which, if you don't speak politician, means seven things for transgender youth living in Ohio and the people that support them:

  • This bill gives parents the right to deny their child treatment for gender dysphoria, which is a serious condition that can lead to mood disorders, anxiety, depression, and/or suicidal thoughts and attempts if left untreated.
  • Treatment of any kind (including surgeries, hormonal treatment, and talk therapy) cannot be administered to transgender youth without the consent of each parent. So even if one parent supports the child in question, all it takes is the other one to refuse the treatments in order to prevent the child from transitioning.
  • Parents have the right to dictate what kind of treatment their child will undergo in regards to their child's gender dysphoria diagnosis, including the option to give the child “treatments” (such as conversion therapy) that can damage the child, psychologically or otherwise.
  • Parents also have the right to prevent their child from even attending or participating in classes or using educational materials regarding the topic of transgenderism. This effectively prevents schools and LGBTQ+ centers from giving help to trans youth, even when it's blatantly obvious that the parents are being of no help whatsoever.
  • If schools notice a student displaying symptoms of gender dysphoria or expressing a gender different from their assigned sex, they are required by law to notify each parent, thus outing the child without the child's consent and against their will, regardless of how the parents may respond to this type of situation.
  • No government agency can intervene or take adverse action in the event that a child's parents deny the child treatment for gender dysphoria. So technically it doesn't matter if the parents in question are the most mercilessly transphobic people on the planet; once they refuse treatment, there's nothing that can be done.
  • Anyone caught providing treatment for gender dysphoria without the consent of each parent will be charged with a fourth-degree felony and will be sentenced six months to one and a half years in prison.

If this bill is make into law, it will take away the right to privacy and the body autonomy of trans youth across the entire state. If we sit here and let this bill pass, we are effectively giving parents the right to disrespect the legitimate identity of innocent children and teens and deny them medical treatment that could potentially be life-saving. By staying silent, we are telling Brinkman and Zeltwanger that we are okay with keeping trans youth trapped in non-affirming households where the likelihood of these youth committing suicide rises by 250%. The U.S. government is doing absolutely nothing to stop this from happening, so they're already telling the other 49 states that this kind of behavior is acceptable, and who knows how long it will be until more state legislators follow suit? It's up to us to say otherwise.

Would you like to support the cause further? Follow this link to another petition to Ohio Governor John Kasich: