Two circles, one of transgender women and one of cisgender women. These two circles appear to have so much overlap they are almost identical. The only actual difference I can come up with is cis women were probably born with outwardly-appearing female genitalia and trans women were probably born with outwardly-appearing male genitalia. It seems to me everything else would go in the center of the diagram in the overlap.
Both trans and cis women:
- May have children.
- May take hormones for birth control, puberty suppressant, menopause, imbalance.
- May have a breast augmentation.
- May wear makeup.
- May be attracted to men, women, both, non-binary folks, or even no one.
- May present in clothes society deems as feminine and/or wear bras.
- May not be able to produce a fetus in what is socially considered a “natural” way.
- May self identify as “feminine,” “gender non-conforming,” or something else.
- May at some point need to talk to a doctor about what is going on inside.
This list is longer because we are still finding new organs in our bodies (i.e. mesentery). So, when health care in Missouri targets the health of trans folks, it feels unsafe for everyone.
All of the health data I could find shows that trans health care saves lives. Full stop. And, no where can I find that Sen. Caleb Rowden studied medicine.
The American Medical Association, American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, and American Academy of Pediatrics support gender-affirming medical care. Medical experts and these leading organizations deem it safe, effective and proven to save trans people’s lives. Studies have found that gender-affirming medical interventions were associated with lower odds of depression and suicidality over 12 months.
If there is truly no hierarchy in the importance of living people, let trans folks access the care they need. Our community has already lost too many folks due to suicide. Knowing the statistics, how can we say we are OK with losing a certain percentage of our trans youth? This cannot be a beloved community until all are included.
While the Venn diagram showing women’s health is necessary for a lot of people, please leave healthy decisions up to discussions between patients and doctors.
Kari Utterback is a Columbia resident.
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