On April 6th, 2021, Arkansas became the first state in the country to ban gender-affirming healthcare for transgender minors, overriding the veto of the state’s Republican governor to do so. The resulting law is sweeping and draconian, making it not only illegal for doctors to provide affirming care, but also preventing physicians from continuing to offer treatment to trans patients who were previously receiving it, or referring them to other providers. Other states, such as Texas, are looking to follow, with similar bills being considered in state legislatures across the country.

Although these bills set a new and alarming precedent, they are merely the latest chapter in a long and brutal history of repression against trans people in this country, and come at a time of increased political harassment of LGBTQ+ individuals nationwide. According to the ACLU, over 75 bills have been introduced in the past year alone that specifically target the rights of transgender youth. Make no mistake - these bills serve no purpose but to harass and intimidate children and teenagers solely on the basis of their gender identity.

We cannot and will not stand idly by in the face of these attacks. These discriminatory practices cost lives. SDS stands in solidarity with transgender people across the country, and we will continue the fight against hate until trans people can freely exist without fear of harassment, discrimination, and violence.