In the past three years, Republican legislators have proposed and passed a dizzying series of laws prohibiting gender-affirming care for trans kids. Due to these efforts, an estimated 36 percent of trans minors live in states where such care is now banned. Now, lawmakers are opening up about their “endgame” in this crusade: banning gender-affirming care for adults, as well. In an audio meeting on X (what was formerly known as a Twitter Space) on Friday, audio from which was posted publicly, a Republican lawmaker in Michigan told other Republican lawmakers to “keep your mind open to banning this for all people. This is something that is harmful whether you’re 18, 19, 20 or older.” An Ohio state representative suggested targeting Planned Parenthoods, which he claimed “pass out hormones like candy” and therefore are “one of the places a lot of adults go.” The unusually candid and specific language confirmed what advocates who have been fighting the youth bans for years have warned: that conservative lawmakers’ professed concern about young people transitioning was never about protecting children. Instead, it is part of a political agenda meant to eliminate trans people by making it impossible for them to receive gender-affirming care.
This event, first reported by independent journalist and advocate Erin Reed, was hosted by a Republican member of the Michigan state legislature, Representative Brad Paquette, who last year introduced a ban on puberty blockers. Representative Gary Click from the Ohio state legislature, whose ban on gender-affirming care for youth was just adopted after a contentious veto override, was the one who made the remarks about where adults can obtain hormones, specifically naming several apps that serve only adults. At another point, Click said a reporter had once asked him about the consequences of bans on gender-affirming care for youth. “They said, do you feel bad because all of these states who are now blocking this procedure for children, they’re having to close down their gender clinics? And that means the adults can’t get these procedures either. I said I don’t feel bad at all if they’re trying to fund this off with the children. No, I’m actually pretty happy about it.” Click at another point acknowledged that to begin with youth bans was “taking one bite at a time, doing it incrementally.”