2SLGBTQ+ Leaders React To Latest Anti-Trans Bill

Tuesday, October 4th 2022, 8:51 pm


Governor Kevin Stitt signed a bill into law that prohibits gender affirming care at OU Children’s Hospital. 

Critics of the Governor said it could cause irreparable damage. 

Both told News 9 this will not only have a detrimental impact on mental health for trans youth in our state but it’s also not helping when it comes to recruiting and retaining medical professionals in Oklahoma. 

“Oklahoma already has a crisis when it comes to keeping and recruiting medical providers. When these bills target and threaten these medical providers, especially those that criminalize them for providing best-practice medical care, we are making it even harder for the state and for all our medical facilities to bring in the kind of talent that we need,” said Nicole McAfee the Executive Director of Freedom Oklahoma. 

“We understand what it’s like to live in a body that doesn’t belong to us but we don’t get the option to leave and now with this policy we don’t get the option to thrive,” said Representative Mauree Turner who represents House District 88. 

In a statement Governor Stitt said, “By signing this bill today we are taking the first step to protect children from permanent gender transition surgeries and therapies.” 

“The big thing is the damage is done when we talk about it and when we write it into law that creates a space where our youth feel like we are writing them out of the future of Oklahoma,” said Rep. Turner. 

“When we say this is life-saving care that is not a figure of speech. It is quite literally saving the lives of transgender people in Oklahoma,” said McAfee. 

The Executive Director of Freedom Oklahoma said even nonsurgical treatments decrease suicide rates among transgender people. 

“Puberty blockers, something that really just delays puberty so kids can figure out some of those internal struggles that they are having so that their body does not betray them by morphing into something else than who they are,” they said. 

McAfee went onto say, “care like that shows about a 70% reduction in suicidality and we are talking about a population of transgender and gender non-conforming people where somewhere around 76% of us experience suicidality somewhere around 40% of us act on that.” 

As Governor Stitt calls on the legislature to ban all gender affirming care in the state, Representative Turner said they are looking into round table discussions and resources for those impacted by the legislation. 

“Places like Pivot, places like Sisu thrive in this state, and I am so thankful for them. They create a space where our youth get to have a life they might have never imagined, a life they might have never lived,” they said. 

There is also a list of mental health resources for transgender folks in our state. Those that are struggling can reach out to: 

  1. Trans Lifeline: 877-565-8860 
  2. Trevor Project: call 1-866-488-7386 or text START to 678-678 
  3. Pivot in Oklahoma City: 405-235- 7537 
  4. Freedom Oklahoma: 405-446-8836 
  5. Sisu Youth Services: 405-459-7478 

“We’ve got those resources in place for you and all you have to do is reach out. We are here and reaching back,” said Rep. Turner. 


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