Posted on: May 8, 2023 Posted by: Glacier Staff Comments: 0

Graphic by Emily Stephens

By Mio Ovalle, Freelance Contributor, and Emily Stephens, Graphics Editor

Across the country, a flurry of anti-trans legislation is taking place.

The legislation targets LGBTQ people in various ways, from restricting access to bathrooms and health care, to banning trans girls and women from playing sports, to banning drag performances. Some bills even go out of their way to prevent school staff and students from using students’ preferred pronouns and names.

As trans activist Erin Reed tells The Glacier, “Three or four years ago, it was just transgender people in sports, and that was all anybody talked about. Now it’s trans people and our medical care, pronouns, bathrooms, everything.”

Data from

Graphic by Emily Stephens

The sheer number of bills introduced across the country has increased dramatically and quickly. In 2020, the number of anti-LGBTQ bills was 66. That number more than doubled in 2021, for a total of 144 bills. In 2022, the total was 174. In only the first five months of 2023, the number has risen to 537.

“I feel like every single year, it appears that there is this race to the bottom,” Reed said. “We’ve not found the floor yet in terms of how badly they will target people.”

Here’s a rundown of some of the main types of legislation being proposed and passed.

Gender-Affirming Care

Bills such as Florida’s SB254 will allow the state to take temporary custody of trans and gender nonconforming kids if their parents affirm the child’s gender. Multiple bills outright ban gender-affirming healthcare such as Kentucky’s HB150, while others forcibly out trans students regardless of the students’ safety at home. 

Texas’s SB1646 would criminalize parents who affirm their children’s genders and get them gender-affirming health care. Child service agents are knocking on the doors of families with a trans child and notifying the parents that they can potentially lose custody of their child just because they affirm the identities of their children.  

Last month, neighboring Indiana became one of the latest states to ban gender-affirming care for those under 18.

Reed describes testimony given by therapists who oppose such legislation: “There’s also these new laws in places like Indiana, Mississippi and Kentucky that define the crime of aiding and abetting gender transition. And so that doesn’t just target us, but also the people that help us–it targets our caregivers. For instance, there was a therapist who testified that this might make it illegal to use a trans person’s pronouns in a therapeutic setting.

“So this is the world we’re living in right now. They’re targeting trans youth and all trans people in a variety of very harmful ways.” 

According to the New York Times, “Missouri this month became the first state in the country to severely restrict gender treatments for people of all ages, following a series of quieter moves across the country that have been chipping away at transgender adults’ access to medical care.”

Reed is alarmed by the move to expand the bans to trans adults: “Right now, many trans youth know that if they can make it to 18, they can start their care, but these adult bans take away that hope of making it to 18 to receive care. That’s terrifying.” 

Bathroom Bans

Many bills dubbed “bathroom bans” seek to prohibit the access that trans people have to public bathrooms.

One of the first passed was in North Carolina in 2016. According to CNN, the bill prevented cities from letting trans people use the bathroom that aligned with their gender identity.

In March, Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders signed a bill into law that bars trans people from using school restrooms that do not align with the sex listed on their birth certificate. Arkansas is among seven states to do so, according to the AP.

Kansas took Arkansas’s bill to the extreme, banning trans people from bathrooms not only in schools, but also in prisons, jails, rape crisis centers, domestic violence shelters, and other facilities where people are separated by binary gender.

Illinois bill SB1659 was introduced back in February. It allows school districts to restrict access to “public restrooms, locker rooms, dressing rooms, and other similar places on the basis of biological sex,” according to Trans Legislation Tracker. Despite Illinois being a predominantly blue state, anti-trans bills are introduced nonetheless.

Data from

Graphic by Emily Stephens

Education Legislation

The infamous “Don’t Say Gay” bill in Florida prohibits education on gender identities and sexualities. Gov. Ron DeSantis’ administration recently expanded the bill to cover grades K-12. To protest the bill, on April 21 student-led organization Walkout 2Learn organized a massive walkout of students at the college, high school and middle school levels.

Senate Bill 8 in Texas is similar to the “Don’t Say Gay” bill, restricting all school-related activities pertaining to sexuality and gender identity up to grade 12.

Indiana’s bill HB1608 says that a teacher may not provide a student in pre-K through 3rd grade any instruction regarding sexuality.

Other bills, nicknamed “parental rights” proposals, require schools to either deadname students or tell parents without student consent, according to the AP. This could put students in unnecessary danger.

Names and Pronouns

Just last Wednesday, Florida approved bills banning diversity programs in college and preventing teachers and students from being required to use preferred pronouns.

On April 27, Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb signed a bill requiring schools to notify the parents of children who request a name or pronoun change, which could potentially out them to their parents as trans.

Arkansas’s bill HB1468 is a supposed “protection against compelled speech.” It requires parental consent in order for students, staff, and faculty to use preferred pronouns.

How state governments plan to enforce some of these bills targeting names and pronouns remains unclear.