Metro Trans Umbrella Group: Missouri AG Leads Misguided Attack on Trans Rights

Protesters gathered in Jefferson City to protest trans rights last month. | REUBEN HEMMER

Protesters in Jefferson City defending gender-affirming health care for minors. | REUBEN HEMMER

On April 13, 2023, the Missouri attorney general issued an emergency order effectively barring access to gender-affirming care for transgender individuals in our state. This stunning and profoundly concerning decision undermines the well-being of a vulnerable population and sets a dangerous precedent in allowing the state to intervene in personal medical decisions.

Gender-affirming care is crucial healthcare for transgender individuals. For many, it is life-saving. To withhold this care and limit access for transgender Missourians is reckless. For the attorney general to make such a concerted effort to ignore proven medical research, cite disproven studies and jeopardize the safety of vulnerable Missourians is cruel.

The American Medical Association, the World Professional Association for Transgender Health and countless other professional organizations recognize the vital role that this care plays in the physical and mental well-being of transgender people. By restricting access to these essential services, the emergency order blatantly disregards the professional consensus and further marginalizes an already vulnerable community.

The attorney general’s decision to intervene in personal medical choices is a dangerous abuse of power with far-reaching consequences. By allowing the state to dictate the medical care available to transgender individuals, Missouri risks setting a precedent that undermines the fundamental rights of all citizens to make informed decisions about our health.

This emergency order also perpetuates the harmful and unfounded stereotypes that have long plagued the transgender community. By denying access to gender-affirming care, the order implicitly suggests that being transgender is a choice rather than an integral aspect of an individual’s identity. This misguided belief only reinforces stigma and discrimination, making it even more challenging for transgender people to access the support and understanding they need to thrive.

In light of these concerns, we call on our elected officials, health-care professionals, and allies to oppose this emergency order. Stand with us. We must challenge this decision in court and advocate for the rights of transgender Missourians to access the care we need and deserve. As a city, a state and a community, it is our collective responsibility to ensure that the rights of all citizens are protected, and that includes the right to access essential health-care services.

Metro Trans Umbrella Group is committed to supporting the transgender community in Greater St. Louis and beyond. We will continue to provide resources, and services and advocate for those affected by this order. However, we cannot do it alone. We urge everyone to stand with us, speak out against this unjust order, and work together to ensure a more equitable future for transgender individuals in Missouri and throughout the country.

Michaela Joy Kraemer is the executive director of Metro Trans Umbrella Group.

At Out in STL, we welcome well-reasoned essays on topics of local interest. Contact [email protected] if you’ve got something to say.

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