But for now, Lucas’ excellent college scholarships and high out-of-state rent keep him in the position. “The general community is shrinking and I think it will shrink after this as time goes on,” he said.
Transgender people across the state tell BuzzFeed News they are introducing dozens of bills targeting sex education, the forced exclusion of transgender youth from schools, and criminalizing doctors who provide gender-affirming care. Many people are rethinking their long-term plans to stay in Oklahoma. Lawmakers backtracked on one of his attempts to raise the age of access to gender-affirming care, arguing that the rights of transgender people of all ages in the state were under attack. says there is.
In Oklahoma City, 30-year-old trans woman Nile Glover made the difficult decision earlier this month to run away with her non-binary partner, Violet. Glover said he felt like a warning sign when he learned about SB 129. After her bills were filed last month, she started crowdfunding to cover her moving costs and drove out to Colorado with her partner to find her apartment.
“They’re obviously coming for us. We don’t want to wait for something to take hold and then live through whatever hellish situation we’re in from now on,” Glover said. I always planned to leave Oklahoma one day, but I never imagined I would have to do it under these circumstances. ‘ she said. “We’re basically starting over. It’s so scary.”
Nicole McAfee, executive director of Freedom Oklahoma, a Two-Spirit LGBTQ advocacy group, believes bills like SB 129 are proposed to appear deliberately extreme. Legislators can make “compromises” that fall short of the original text. Their group tracks at least 45 state bills targeting LGBTQ people, 12 of which are aimed at limiting access to transhealth care. also limit public funding for minor care. They are likely to pass this year. Another bill, HB 1011, would ban gender-affirming care in Oklahoma under the age of 21.
A bill underway in the Oklahoma Legislature calls gender-affirming care “medically necessaryfor transgender youth. The American Medical Association has repeatedly said that it is “inappropriate and harmful” for politicians to interfere in this type of treatment.
“It’s especially important to let people know that there is no right age to ban best practice medical care for transgender people,” McAfee said.
Oklahoma has already curtailed access to care for some transgender youth. In October 2022, Republican Governor Kevin Stitt Signs SB 3blocked funding for gender-verifying care for minors at OU Health, the state’s only children’s hospital.
Monday, Stitt state address state We have made it clear that restricting this care to minors is a top priority. “I am asking Congress to pass legislation to ban all sex reassignment surgery and hormone therapy on minors in Oklahoma,” he told a standing ovation of legislators.
But outside the state capitol, dozens of protesters — daily trans-Oklahomans, organizers and policy advocates — gathered to hold a rally against Stitt’s proposed future.