May 17, 2021
Within the first five months of 2021, more than 250 anti-LGBTQ bills have been introduced in state legislatures across the country, at least eight of which have been signed into law at the time of this writing. The majority of these bills target trans, non-binary, and gender-expansive youth. These pieces of legislation, identical almost word-for-word in a coordinated attack, present inflammatory and false information to incite panic around trans girls’ participation in sports and trans youth’s access to life-saving medical care.
As an organization dedicated to advocating for trans justice within the discipline of sociology, as well as to using our sociological insights to advance national conversations about trans, non-binary, and intersex communities, we are tired, concerned, and frustrated.
- We are tired because these unfounded panics continue to arise, attacking some of the most vulnerable members of our communities year after year;
- We are concerned that this incited fear will only further fuel the violence against our already vulnerable communities, leading to an increase in already high rates of mental health issues, physical violence, bullying, suicide and murder; and
- We are frustrated that despite our expertise on trans justice and scholarship on sex and gender, supporters of these bills continue to listen to hate-filled arguments and ignore the evidence that these bills do not protect anyone, but only perpetuate harm.
To the trans, non-binary, and gender-expansive youth who may see this: Your existence is real and valid. You deserve every single opportunity that your cisgender peers have, whether that is to play sports, go to the restroom, learn in school, or get the health care that you need. You deserve to live life to the fullest and pursue your dreams. We see you and we are fighting for you.
Scientifically speaking, neither sex nor gender are binary. Socially speaking, trans, intersex, and non-binary people deserve to be treated with the same social respect that all people deserve. For these reasons, we oppose these bills and laws in the strongest possible terms.
To this end, we believe we have an immediate responsibility to extend the reach of our expertise on gender, trans people’s experiences and outcomes, public policy, and related topics beyond paywalls and conference fees. Organizations like ours have the expertise and data that matter. As a first step, we have created the #ProtectTransYouth Reader, a list of sociological scholarship on trans youth produced by our organizational members.
We call upon fellow sociologists, especially those who benefit from cisgender privilege, to use our positions to support the fundamental human rights of transgender, non-binary and gender-expansive people in this country. We encourage everyone to share this statement, and then write and call your representatives to demand that they vote against these harmful bills. Let us be clear: trans communities will surely endure increased psychological and physical violence if existing transphobic public policies are upheld and new ones are passed.
Founded in 2016, Sociologists for Trans Justice (S4TJ) is committed to advancing public understanding of trans, non-binary, and intersex issues – in particular, to enter sociological insights into the national conversation about the status of trans, non-binary, and intersex communities. For more information, visit our website at www.s4tj.com