Families and advocates rally against anti-transgender bill at the State Capitol

Published: Feb. 15, 2023 at 7:04 PM CST
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Legislation billed as a way to protect kids from experiments is getting pushback from transgender kids and their families.

House Bill 1125 would ban both gender reassignment surgery and hormone replacement therapy for minors in the state.

Chants echoed through the streets of Jackson with the Capitol in the rearview. They chanted phrases like “trans rights are human rights” and “our kids will not be erased.”

With House Bill 1125 still alive at the Capitol, transgender young people and their families worry the state’s politicians don’t understand them. That march to the Governor’s mansion happened after an honest conversation about who they are.

“We hide for as long as we possibly can,” said transgender young person Levi James. “We hide from our families, our friends in the whole damn world. Oftentimes we hide from ourselves. Because being trans is scary, it’s hard, and it’s painful.”

Families are sharing that the only comfort has been access to gender-affirming care.

“This bill would change our lives,” noted mother Katie Rives. “Because it would make it impossible for us to get the care that Ray needs and we’re in the middle of right now.”

They spoke from the same spot the Governor pushed back on transgender ideas last month.

“Counter those who want to push their experiments on our kids,” said Reeves in his State of the State address.

But those families weren’t talking about surgeries. You see, gender reassignment surgery isn’t being done for minors or adults in Mississippi.

These families are talking about options like hormone therapy.

“What I want you to understand is this, our parents aren’t hurting us,” added Levi James. “Our parents are saving our lives and you are getting in the way. HB 1125 will be the reason that more of my community, and more of my friends die.”

“I will do anything, anything to keep my child from feeling that way,” described Rives.

The bill passed the full House and a Senate committee. It’s waiting on the Senate calendar for a full Senate debate.

If they make no changes, it will go to the Governor.

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