Worryingly, this measure also targets mental health. For example, the bill gives parents or guardians permission to withhold consent not only for physical treatment or “activities” but also for mental health services when this is in line with the minor’s “ideas” of gender and gender or “treatment of gender mismatches or dysphoria ”. “As we know, gender-affirming care – including mental health care – is life-saving care. It is difficult enough to get access to trans-inclusive medical care in this nation. Healthcare should be safe, affordable, accessible and not shut down by parents.
As with many of these anti-trans bills, the measure defines gender as based on chromosomes, endogenous hormone profiles, and sex organs. In particular, this bill would also forbid any government office or government organization to exclude or punish people who offer therapy based on their religious beliefs or “consciousness”. What do I think of immediately? Conversion therapy.
Another aspect of this legislation that needs to be discussed is the term “gender nonconforming”. What does that mean? It really comes down to who you ask. Some transsexuals may consider themselves sexually violated. Some queer cisgender people, such as gay men and lesbians, could classify themselves that way too. That said, this legislation doesn’t care how you identify yourself. Would a cisgender woman who dresses in men’s clothes for any reason be reported to her parents? What about a cisgender, straight man who wears nail polish or makeup? The list of scenarios goes on.
And when we look at implicit bias and who is generally targeted in a school setting, that area becomes even more gloomy and worrying – for example, a colored high school student wears the same outfit as a white peer. Would both be considered same-sex “conform” or not? Would both be reported immediately? The whole thing is a tunnel of disasters, stereotypes and profiles.
In the event of entry into force, the bill would come into effect on October 1, 2021. While there are Republican strongholds in both homes in North Carolina, this bill likely has too much reach to actually move forward. But even if these bills don’t become law, the sheer speed and intensity of these anti-trans laws set a tone that affects the normality of such hatred and division. And also really terrifying for the LGBTQ youth who hear and see this coverage.