ST. LOUIS – A group of St. Louis area parents says the rights of transgender children are under attack, but they’re fighting back.
“He loves playing games on his computer with his friends, he’s a great artist,” said Becky Hormuth, a parent of a transgender child.
“He loves geography, he is super funny, he loves his cats, he’s just a regular kid,” said Danielle Meert, another parent of a transgender child.
“He’s a senior in college in Philadelphia, never to return to Missouri,” said Susan Halla, founder of TransParent and parent of a transgender child.
For these parents fighting the legislation, it’s personal. Each parent has a transgender son who has gone through medical treatments at the Washington University Transgender Center at St. Louis Children’s Hospital that have helped them transition.
“His grades have gone up, his depression has alleviated, his anxieties have gone down, so it’s just been an overwhelmingly positive,” Hormuth said. “It actually affirms truly who my child is; he gets to feel like his whole self, not just in our house, but also with the community of doctors.”
A now former employee recently alleged the center is not doing right by its patients.
“They’ve been nothing but fabulous, we know the whistleblower, we believe what she’s saying is right-wing rhetoric, Halla said. “It’s very apparent that her coming out, came out at the timing of these bills.”
Parents and advocates said the bills threaten healthcare and the ability to play sports. They fear that, if approved, the future of transgender children in Missouri will be forever changed.
“I know how my kid was not doing well before, and now he’s doing great,” Meert said. “It’s just heartbreaking to know that other children are not going to receive that healthcare because of people that are just willfully ignorant.”
In the upcoming weeks, lawmakers in Jefferson City will decide whether programs like the one at Washington University will continue to assist children.
“I know that we stand on the right side of history, and that gives me hope,” Halla said.