Where Trans Protections are Being Strengthened: A Look at the Positive Side of Trans Rights in America

Group of friends smiling

In recent years, the rights of transgender individuals in the United States have come under attack, with an unprecedented wave of legislation seeking to limit their rights and freedoms. However, despite the surge of restrictions on trans rights in some states, there has also been a clear growth in protective policies in others. This blog post will examine the states where trans protections are being strengthened, and the efforts of trans advocates to ensure their safety in a hostile political climate. Additionally, it will explore the factors that transgender individuals must consider when assessing their safety, and the ways in which allies can become more vocal in championing trans rights, even in states where protections may not pass.

Trans advocates remind us that there are some bright spots where states have introduced protective policies. Connecticut, for example, has passed “refuge” laws that protect trans people who come from places where gender-affirming care is banned and are seeking those services in that state. Colorado, Washington, and Hawaii have passed laws that explicitly require insurance carriers to cover gender-affirming care procedures, such as laser hair removal and voice therapy. Additionally, Virginia and New York have anti-discrimination laws that protect trans people from bias in housing, employment, and accessing public services.

Despite these strides, trans advocates are urging their allies to become more vocal in championing trans rights, even in states where protections may not pass. They argue that if they are going to be a priority for their enemies, they absolutely must be a priority for their friends.

On the other hand, the onslaught of anti-trans legislation has led families to question where they can be safe. The increased attacks on trans rights have resulted in families feeling unsafe in their own communities. Some parents are even considering moving to different states to escape the fear and anxiety that comes with these anti-trans laws. To help trans families assess their safety, trans activist Erin Reed recently created a map that helps people determine which states are most likely to pass anti-trans legislation. The map has not only helped trans people and their families, but it has also led to the realization of the extent of the issue among cisgender people who had no idea of the state of anti-trans legislation.

However, Casey of the Movement Advancement Project notes that assessing safety isn’t as simple as tracking what LGBTQ-centric policies states are enacting. Other factors, such as a person’s race, immigration status, or proximity to loved ones, must also be considered. She emphasizes that the policy landscape is important to transgender people and their experiences because trans individuals are remarkably unsafe every day, and that vulnerability has only gotten worse in recent years. Nonetheless, while the future of transgender rights may seem uncertain, it is important to celebrate these strides in states that have passed protective policies for trans people.

In the midst of ongoing attacks on the rights of transgender individuals, trans advocates are working hard to protect and strengthen those rights. While some states have passed anti-LGBTQ bills, others have created protective policies and passed anti-discrimination laws that safeguard the rights of trans people. However, as the threat to the trans community continues to persist, it is crucial for allies to become more vocal in championing trans rights, even in states where protections may not pass. Assessing safety and finding refuge can be complex, and other factors like race, immigration status, or proximity to loved ones must also be considered. By raising awareness about the realities of the ongoing wave of anti-trans legislation and advocating for trans rights, we can work towards a more just and equitable society for all.

Disclaimer: This blog shares general information only, not professional advice or recommendations. Consult healthcare providers for personal guidance. Decisions based on content are the reader's responsibility. Thank you.

Clayre runs a group practice of three queer and trans therapists, including youth therapist Audrey Wolfe, RCC, LGBT therapist Camber Giberson, RCC, CCC, and gender-affirming therapist Clayre Sessoms, RP, RCT, RCC, CCC, ATR-P. Work with us: book a session.