When politicians start coming for minority kids you know they are desperately trying to distract from the bigger problems a nation faces. Be it migrant kids in cages, young black folk getting locked up for long stetches for crimes white kids get slaps on the wrist, or trans kids who just want to play sports, the situation is the same. Those in power using kids to scapegoat for wider social ills that they caused through exclusionary policies.
Trans youth are some of the most underprivileged and marginalised in society, doubly so if they are trans children of colour, working class, or from immigrant communities. Nothing screams injustice than middle class white folk believing that their children are being left in the cold, and the current targeting of trans kids primarily revolves around a handful of privileged white folk kicking up a dust storm to obscure the fact that trans kids actually do deserve rights.
Many of the same arguments you here in the media in 2021 about trans kids were used in the 1880s about black kids, 1920s and 30s about Jewish kids, 1950s and 60s about black kids again… so on and so forth. New generation of kids, same old tired arguments. These kids will steal our precious college spots, make it impossible for white middle class kids to compete in sports, will sexually assault our women. Dog whistles blown at every term, yet racist, misogynistic, classist, and discriminatory all the way down the line.
Fractured societies usually see demagogues whipping against minorities, better to bring the masses on board with the tarring and feathering of the out-of-favour minority of the day than admit that society’s mess is the politicians fault. It is an age old scourge of the democratic process, and this time round trans kids are bearing the brunt of it. Suicides have replaced public lynching, but the impact is the same: dead children and young adults for no other reason than vitriol and misplaced hate. Regardless of background every child has the right to grow up and blossom into the person they are meant to be. One suicide is one too many.
Pain and suffering are supposedly a right of passage that all trans folk accept, yet it does not have to be this way. Trans folk given the space and acceptance to be themselves soar without fear, and it is the brutalising atmosphere that causes so many to crash and burn. We are not Icarus, our wings are not wax that melts in the heat of oppression, yet in banishing trans kids to the pits of social hell all society does is store up anguish and torment.
Trans kids are not alright because society sees them as damned and tarnished, traps waiting to spring on the unwary. If all things were about protecting women from sexual predation then it would men who would be the focus, but as always those men in power deflect onto the most vulnerable in society. Theirs is the handwaving misdirection, pointing to the innocent trans boys and girls and nonbinary folk in the corner, all the while the real dangers go unmentioned and unpunished.
Now is the time to get angry, now is the time to fight for trans kids rights, for otherwise it could be another thirty years before any laws enacted are repealed. By which time untold harm and loss of life would have been inflicted on innocent lives. It took over twenty years to get Section 28 repealed, 60 to get sodomy laws taken off the statute books, and a century to even partially unwind Jim Crow. Time is an ally of those in power, and all the while minority lives are buried on the daily.
This is why speaking up and out matters, why pressing those in power to stop these barbarous bills and assaults on children is essential. Trans kids are not all right because enough people treat them as a threat as to make a difference, and it is up to us allies to advocate as hard as we can to ensure that their futures are bright and pain free.