The GOP’s Attack on Trans Americans

The attack on trans Americans has come full force.

An edited variation of the American flag that combines it with the trans flag. (Picture has been cropped to fit)

Di (they/them)

An edited variation of the American flag that combines it with the trans flag. (Picture has been cropped to fit)

by Aidyn Pacl, Reporter

Throughout the 2020s, a sharp turn regarding the acceptance of trans Americans has been observed.

What had begun as a revolutionary decade for the US, with gay marriage being legalized in 2015, Don’t Ask Don’t Tell being repealed in 2010, and many more rights for the LGBTQ+ community being expanded, quickly morphed into a reversal of these same accomplishments.

Between 2020 and 2022 the US has seen a vast amount of anti-trans bills being passed in state legislatures in nearly every GOP led state.

These bills have made it harder for trans Americans to live their lives and be their true selves.

There are hundreds of examples that could be looked at with over 670 being passed since 2018, 240 in just 2022.

The most notable bills, along with an order, are Idaho HB675, Alabama SB184, and an order given from Governor Greg Abbott of Texas.

Idaho House Bill 675 was introduced on February 23rd, 2022. Its main goal is to completely outlaw gender transitions for minors.

That goal is something this bill has in common with many other anti-trans bills across the country, but what sets this one apart is the means in which it will be enforced. 

The bill classifies all gender transitions on a minor as a felony. The bill not only outlaws gender affirming surgery, but also hormone therapy and puberty blockers, both of which are completely reversible.

This bill has pretty much died in the Senate since it was passed by the house and introduced on March 9th, but an even more aggressive and controlling bill took its place in the national headlines.

 Alabama Senate Bill 184 does pretty much the exact same thing as ID HB675. It prohibits all gender affirming care on a minor including hormone therapy.

The one difference that makes this bill so much more controlling is the fact that the bill forces anyone under the age of 19 to detransition. The bill classifies the act of a person under 19 undergoing a gender affirming transition as a class C felony, and forcibly stops them from transitioning if they are already in the process.

A protest at the Iowa State Capitol in Des Moines, against the ban on trans people playing sports.
For reference a class C felony is punishable by up to ten years in prison. This means that a doctor, who is just trying to help their trans patient, can be put in prison for the same amount of time as a stalker or armed robber.

Along with this, the bill also includes an enormous amount of side amendments that make it so school staff are forced to out their students, and classroom discussion of any topic regarding the LGBTQ+ community is prohibited.

Alabama governor, Kay Ivey, was quoted by CBS as saying, “if the Good Lord made you a boy, you are a boy, and if he made you a girl, you are a girl.” Many think that this quote shows the disregard the state has for separation of church and state.

What’s not a bill, but rather an order, given out by the Governor of Texas, Greg Abbott is arguably even more aggressive than the last two mentioned bills. 


A screenshot of Abbott’s order.On February 23rd, 2022, Abbott issued an order proclaiming that child sex changes are child abuse, and that because they are child abuse he directs the CPS to, “conduct a prompt and thorough investigation of any reported instances of these abusive procedures in the State of Texas.” 

This order outdid any bill that had been passed due to simply how invasive it was, and how it threatened to tear families apart because of simple transphobia. The order was immediately met with a very large amount of push back.

Trevor Project CEO, Amit Paley, was quoted by CBS as saying, “Texas parents who support their trans kids should be applauded, not prosecuted,”

The order came at almost the exact same time as when the former CEO of Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) , Bill Magness, testified against Abbott claiming that he had a role in raising the price of electricity in Texas to nine thousand dollars per megawatt, 150 times normal rate, during the 2021 Texas Power Crisis. The crisis contributed to the deaths of at least 246 people.

This timing led many to question the actual motive behind this order, with many claiming that it was issued mainly to distract from this testimony as it could be detrimental to Abbott’s political career.

Even with the amount of anti-trans bills being passed, there are a very large number of people who oppose them.

“I think they’re dangerous,” said Noelle Pacl*, a 36-year-old Silverdale mom of a trans kid. “The reasons for creating this legislation aren’t actually the reasons they’re stating, I think it comes from a place of hate and fear. And I think a lot of lives are going to be lost due to this legislation being passed.”

A well known fact among the trans community and people outside of it is that 40% of trans individuals have attempted suicide at least once. Some immediately assume that this is because of the fact that they are trans and nothing else, and use this against trans people, as a reason why they shouldn’t transition. This can be seen in many anti-trans bills across the country.

But the actual reason behind why the rate is so high is mostly because of external factors. Studies have shown that the triggering factor for the majority of trans suicides were either a breakup, altercation with family member, lack of financial stability, failure to secure gender affirming care, or a diagnosis of HIV/AIDS. 

It has also been shown that a trans person having accepting family member in their life greatly reduces their risk of suicide.

“I honestly think that it’s stupid to hyper fixate on trans people individually,” said Mason Fort, a trans sophomore at Central Kitsap High School. “I think we should be focusing more on the bigger issues facing this country like our struggling economics, the pandemic, or even the constant school shootings.”

With just how many anti-trans bills are being passed, many people are being affected by them both directly and indirectly, even when they don’t live in a state that has them in place.

“They haven’t exactly affected any of us personally, because we don’t live in any of the states, but there’s the possibility they could,” Pacl said. “For example, if my family were to visit Texas to see the rest of our relatives right now, we would be in danger of getting CPS called on us due to my daughter being trans. Another thing too is that we’re a military family, and there are going to be certain states that we have to blacklist from moving to because my child will be denied healthcare.”

No matter what your stance on this issue is, there is no denying that these bills have had a massive effect on the lives of not only trans people, but their friends, and family as well.

*Noelle Pacl is reporter Aidyn Pacl’s mother.