New trans refuge bill passes Minnesota House

Bill awaiting signature for Minnesota to become a trans refuge state


Serena Bovee

The nation is becoming increasingly split on the topic of trans medical care. Trans people have become the focus of discussion, and have become vilified by the Republican party. As of right now, 492 bills have been proposed across the nation to restrict and regulate trans people across the nation. 43 of these bills have failed being signed into law but 25 have passed.

The bills that have been proposed by the government regulate how trans people exist and have been taking down the quality of life from access to gender affirming care and the ability to live. For example in Arkansas, bill SB199 passed into law. This law makes it very easy to fine medical providers who give gender care to minors and alongside this it forces providers to say a speech that gives false information. In Tennessee it can be skewed so that people performing drag or just being trans and dancing in public can be arrested and put into jail for a period of time. In North Dakota, teachers are completely restricted from talking about pronouns and in extraneous situations may not use a students prefered name and pronouns. All of these bills are just restricting an already restrictive process that takes years to get through.

All of these bills and laws tie directly to trans people obtaining the help they need to transition. I need to be very clear that the way to medically transition is currently relatively restricted. There are two primary ways. The main way to obtain hormones and the tools to transition is by going to therapy. This is really the only option that can be covered by insurance and it requires you to go to two different medical professionals, one a therapist and have them both sign that you are trans. This is a process that can last from months to years and you can still be denied. The other way is informed consent, all you have to do is sign a waiver and you can access the help you need. The problems come to be that insurance will not cover you and this isn’t available to minors without parental assistance. The restriction of access to fundamental medication is extremely disappointing to me. These systems are just making it unnecessarily difficult to obtain the help I and others need to keep going. 

As a trans person myself, I can say that socially transitioning has been extremely helpful for my mental and emotional state. I was always living, but now I feel alive. I am very lucky that I live in Minnesota where I am accepted and allowed to exist. I am utterly horrified as to what is happening outside of Minnesota. In Tennessee it has been put out that if you are trans or in drag you could be arrested for dancing. The bills being passed in Tennessee and Arkansas makes me scared for others who are being forced into submission. Thankfully though, certain states like California and New York have become sanctuary states. This means that they are willing to support and fight for trans people. They will not comply with other states that would endanger trans people through their laws. 

Minnesota is still not a sanctuary state, but it is extremely close. The Bill HB 146 passed the state House on March 24, but still needs to pass the state Senate and be signed by Governor Walz. It is certain that if this passes the Senate it will be signed into law by Walz, because he has made every effort to show support including signing an executive order last month that ensures that gender care will stay up as long he is in office. I am extremely happy that Minnesota is currently supportive of me and other queer individuals. Walz and other people in our state government have really tried their best to support the LGBTQIA+ society. Even so people outside Minnesota are still being oppressed with atrocious laws. Even in my joy I am still scared for the other people not quite as lucky.