The attacks on transgender healthcare and the visibility of LGBTQ people (as best demonstrated by Florida's Don't Say Gay law) share one characteristic espoused by their supporters. And that is the claim that these actions are being done to protect young children from being "exposed" to supposedly dangerous concepts. We all knew it was a lie and further actions taken by the originators of these attacks are proving us right.
They are slowly but surely upping the age of those they claim to be protecting.
Last week, a bill was introduced in Oklahoma which would ban gender-affirming care for anyone under the age of 26. According to ABC News:
A new bill would make it a felony for anyone under the age of 26 to access gender-confirming care in the state of Oklahoma. Senate Bill 129, sponsored by Republican state Sen. David Bullard, is the most recent anti-transgender care bill to be introduced in an ongoing push against gender-confirming care by Republican legislators across the country. Though many of these bills have initially targeted minors, several recently proposed bills have started extending the bans into adulthood. Under this bill, physicians and health care providers cannot provide gender transition procedures to a patient under the age of 26 or refer them “to any healthcare professional for gender transition procedures.”
Then comes this news from Florida by way of LGBTQNation:
The office of Florida Gov. DeSantis (R) has confirmed that the anti-LGBTQ+ governor is supportive of extending the stipulations of the state’s Don’t Say Gay law – known formally as the Parental Rights in Education Act.
Right now, the law bans discussions of sexual orientation and gender identity up to third grade, and a staffer for the state’s Senate President Kathleen Passidomo (R) told The Daily Mail that lawmakers are thinking about introducing legislation to expand the law up to sixth grade.
In a press conference in December, Passidomo expanded on this, saying that she doesn’t think she’d “be supportive of high school because kids in high school are, hopefully, a little more mature, or at least they should be, but you know, the middle school, maybe go up to 6th grade or something like that."
These bills and laws are less about protecting children and more about undermining the healthcare and very existence of LGBTQ people. The question is how long will their supporters and creators be able to get away with the subterfuge.