New Bills of Terror

My great state of Tennessee has this week, begun its legislative session by criminalizing anyone who offers gender affirming care to minors (under age 18), including parents. This bill was first on the legislative agenda, and has now passed through the House and the Senate. It’s next stop is the Judiciary Committee. I have never been big into the political workings of state government. Things just always seemed to level out through checks and balances. Never in my lifetime, do I remember seeing bills that take away rights and freedoms, especially when it comes to medical and mental health treatment. Basically, they are going against years of research and professionals in the field, stating that the local government knows better than everyone else.

I am a founding member, and on boards for non-profit support groups called PFLAG, and Transparent. We support families who find themselves navigating the world as a member of the LGBTQ+ community, parent, family, and friends. This new legislation has me thinking of how to best support our transgender families, when the proven way forward has been blocked and criminalized.

I have been raising my own transgender teen, and know firsthand the struggles that these kids go through. They often don’t know what is happening, or why they don’t feel right. It is more intense than typical adolescence and puberty. Where adults who are faced with these feelings, many self medicate with alcohol or drugs until they figure things out. With youth, self-harm appears to be the coping mechanism for many. I have entered a world where I now know families who have lost children to suicide. It is real.

I dare say that our lawmakers will have blood on their hands. Families will be in need of support. It’s one of those times when I wish I could do something, but it is too big.

I have one small thing in mind that I can do. I have knowledge of homeschooling in my state. I can support families by offering information, to start. There are so many types of homeschoolers, doing it for different reasons. My focus would be those who need the mental health recovery from public school, and our LGBTQ+ families that are dealing with bullying and discrimination in the schools. I have started planning a bit, but am having some challenge completely wrapping my mind around it.


2 thoughts on “New Bills of Terror

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