By: Sid Spahn
Days before signing the bill, Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds said she is “tired of politicians who tell parents they should sit down, be silent, and let the government control their kids” This is a display of cruel irony for the treatment of trans youth in Iowa, and by passing this bill, she has made it known that her statement did not include trans youth and their families.
In passing this bill, the Iowa legislature has shown that they do not care about trans youth, and they do not believe that trans youth should be protected at school, nor included in some of the most enjoyable aspects of their lives.
This blatent discrimination of trans youth in our public school system is dangerous and life threatening. Suicide risk is highest in members of the LGBTQ+ community during teen years and their early 20s. With 4 in 5 transgender individuals having contemplated ending their lives, this is a matter of life or death for the children of America.
At the beginning of the lockdown for the COVID-19 pandemic, the University of Wisconsin conducted a survey on highschool athletes. They found that 68% of the teens polled were experiencing anxiety and depression at rates that required medical attention. This was a 40% increase from past studies. With this study, they also found that their physical activity was 50% lower than before the pandemic. The lead researcher even said “the greatest risk [to student-athletes] is not covid-19. It’s suicide and drug use.”
By excluding trans youth from sports, they are stripping the identity, physical activity and social circles that come with sports, putting their mental health at even more risk than it already is.
We must fight against the targeted cruelty towards the LGBTQ+ youth of America and fight for their rights for an equal education.