Things That Matter

More Anti-Trans Bills Have Been Introduced in 2021 Than Any Year in History

Trans rights are under siege in over half of the United States this year, as 28 states have proposed one or more anti-trans bills. The bills range from banning trans children from playing on sports teams to prohibiting doctors from giving trans youth life-saving care. 

Despite winning the White House and both houses of Congress, we cannot grow complacent. Now is the time for others from the LGBTQ community and allies to stand up and protect our trans brothers and sisters.

At least 28 states have proposed anti-trans legislation that could severely harm the community.

Less than three months into the new year, Republican lawmakers have already introduced a record number of anti-trans bills across the country.

According to a report published Monday by Axios, at least 73 pieces of legislation have already been put forward in state legislatures targeting members of the transgender community. Of those proposals, 65 specifically single out trans youth, such as bills prohibiting the kinds of medical care doctors can offer trans minors and others seeking to limit the participation of trans student athletes in school sports. 

Notable examples include legislative efforts by South Dakota and Mississippi, both of which passed bills in the past week blocking trans girls from competing in school athletics in accordance with their gender identity. After being approved by their respective Houses and Senates, their governors have vowed to sign them.

These would be the first bills of their kind to become law in the U.S. after numerous attempts to pass anti-trans sports bills in previous years. In 2019, a bill targeting trans student athletes failed in the South Dakota House by just one vote.

LGBTQ+ advocates are warning that the influx of this type of legislation will harm trans and nonbinary youth.

Trans advocates and experts argue that bills like this do not protect young trans people, and recent studies support this. In February, the Center for American Progress (CAP) released a report which argued that banning the trans community from certain sports programs would deprive an entire group of people of the benefits of athletics, including lower risks of depression, anxiety, and drug use. Despite so many states introducing legislation targeting trans youth in sports, the report also found that the argument of an “unfair advantage” does not actually hold up to data-driven scrutiny.

“This has been a significant part of my work at the ACLU for the past six years and I’ve never seen anything like this,” Chase Strangio, deputy director for transgender justice at the ACLU, told CNN. “There have never been this many bills targeting trans youth voted out of committee and then making it to the floor.”

There is widespread opposition to anti-trans bills, and not just from LGBTQ+ civil rights groups. More than 55 major corporations have endorsed a statement against these bills and anti-LGBTQ+ legislation in general; they include Facebook, Pfizer, Microsoft, AT&T, Apple, Dell, American Airlines, and many more. Nearly 550 college athletes have signed a letter to the National Collegiate Athletic Association demanding that championship games be pulled from states that have anti-trans sports laws or are close to enacting them. More than 1,000 child welfare groups have taken a stand against legislation that would keep trans youth out of school sports or deny them health care.

States that enact anti-LGBTQ+ legislation often experience boycotts, as was the case with North Carolina and its anti-trans “bathroom bill” in 2016 and Indiana with its discriminatory religious freedom law in 2015. The former has now been repealed, the latter amended.

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Trans Latina’s Account Of Transphobic Treatment At TSA Goes Viral— ‘Solution was to ask me if I wanted to be scanned as a man’

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Trans Latina’s Account Of Transphobic Treatment At TSA Goes Viral— ‘Solution was to ask me if I wanted to be scanned as a man’

ANGELA WEISS / Getty

The TSA has long come under fire for its mishandling of minorities. From their treatment and suspicion of certain ethnicities to their mishandling of binary scanning technology, it’s no secret that TSA officers are lacking in awareness when it comes to certain issues. This is particularly true when it comes to nonbinary and trans people. In fact, recently a ProPublica investigation revealed that trans people are often forced to endure invasive searches by the TSA in airports.

In some of the worst cases, trans people have reported being forced to show their genitals to simply fly.

Rose Montoya, an Arizona-based, Hispanic, bisexual, nonbinary trans model recently recalled an experience with TSA that was extremely transphobic.

In the viral TikTok video, which has racked up over three million views, Montoya recalled her experience with airport security and underlined why “we need to change how the scanners function and educate TSA about trans people”.

Speaking about the recent incident, Montaya recalled how “going through the scanner, there’s a male and female scanner for the TSA checkpoint… But going through the scanner, I always have an ‘anomaly’ between my legs that sets off the alarm. So she asked me if I had anything in my pants and I say, ‘No’, so she said, ‘Maybe it’s just the metal buttons on your shorts.’”

“So I went through the scanner again but I set off the alarm again, so I said I am trans woman and to just pat me down,” she explained. “Her solution was to ask me if I wanted to be scanned as a man instead. I didn’t, but I ended up doing it. And my boobs set it off, because of course. So I tried to make a joke out of it and said don’t worry, there’s just a bunch of plastic in there. Then she said we have to pat you down and asked if I would prefer a man to do it. I said absolutely not.”

In an interview with Buzzfeed, Montoya was recently traveling from Phoenix to Los Angeles to visit her boyfriend when she was subjected to humiliation by TSA.

Montoya’s experience sparked a conversation on TikTok and Instagram, where many trans people shared similar experiences with TSA.

a“It’s been proven that the system we have in place is broken and doesn’t work,” she emphasized. “We also need to train people on how to treat trans people. If I tell you I’m a trans woman, it most likely means I want to be scanned as a woman, treated as a woman, and patted down by a woman.”

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2021 Is Set To Be The Deadliest Year Ever For The Trans Community As Yet Another Trans Woman Is Murdered

Things That Matter

2021 Is Set To Be The Deadliest Year Ever For The Trans Community As Yet Another Trans Woman Is Murdered

Mario Tama/Getty Images

LGBTQ+ activists say that violence against the transgender community in 2021 is outpacing last year’s record number of anti-trans homicides. Few communities are facing a crisis of life and death as severe as the country’s transgender community. It’s only March and there have already been at least nine transgender victims so far this year, which is more than during the same period in 2020 which was the deadliest year on record for the community. 

The nation’s trans community is under attack.

According to the National Black Justice Coalition, at least four times more trans people have been killed this year than by the same point in 2020. By the end of last February, two trans people had been murdered in the United States. In contrast, at least eight individuals have already lost their lives in 2021, with five murders in January alone.

The National Black Justice Coalition, a national LGBTQ+ civil rights group that tracks anti-trans violence, said the above total may not even reflect the total number of trans homicides in 2021.

“We live in a society that ranks human value according to a hierarchy of bodies and identities, where disposability radiates outward as a person’s distance from the hegemonic ideal increases,” NBJC Executive Director David Johns told them., adding that these victims were “targeted because their identities place them far away from privilege and the social structures that uphold this complex, compound oppression and ultimately place them in disproportionate danger.”

2021 is set to be the deadliest year on record if the violence doesn’t end. 

Should the year continue at its current pace, advocates worry that 2021 would far surpass last year’s historic level of anti-trans homicides. Forty-four transgender people lost their lives to violence in 2020, but these early totals put the United States on track for an astounding 176 murders. That total is unlikely when no year prior to 2020 had seen more than 30 recorded trans homicides, per Human Rights Campaign data. But even if the next 10 months averaged four murders each month, 2021 would still become the deadliest year on record for anti-trans violence, counting 48 deaths.

Neither of these figures factor in deaths that are believed by local community members to be homicides but not officially declared as such, like the mysterious passing of 19-year-old Tatianna Hall in Philadelphia last year.

Whatever the end total may be, HRC’s Tori Cooper claims that the community has “already lost too many transgender people to fatal violence” this year.

The latest victim is Chyna Carrilo who was killed in Pennsylvania last month.

Chyna Carrillo, 24, a trans Latinx woman, was murdered in Wilmington, Pennsylvania in February. According to a report in the New Castle News, Carrillo was brutally beaten to death with a blunt object by Juan Carter Hernandez, 33, a military deserter recently released from prison where he was serving eight to 10 years for the murder of his wife in 2011. 

Carrillo, who was also known as Chyna Cardena had recently moved to New Wilmington from Arkansas with the hope of starting a new life. She was employed as a certified nursing assistant at The Grove at New Wilmington, a skilled nursing facility. Her murder took place in a house next to the Grove.

Friends and family have been left devastated by the news. All remember her as a warm and outgoing woman who touched their lives and will be sorely missed.

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