Parents of trans kids urged to flee Alabama for ‘somewhere safe’ as total ban on trans youth healthcare passes
Marie Willa, who posted on TikTok as MissWilla, pleaded for parents living in Alabama to get their trans children out of the state and to “somewhere safe”.
In an emotional video on TikTok, Willa, a trans woman, said: “I come to you tonight on a very serious note with a dire warning and a plea for help.
“If you are the parent of a transgender child that is 19 or under and you live in the state of Alabama, your child lives in the state of Alabama, get out.
“Get your child out to somewhere safe.
“They have just made it a felony to provide any gender-affirming care to any transgender person age 19 or younger.”
She warned the ban would “drive the suicide rate up just astronomically high” and pleaded for parents to “get your children to safety”. Willa also called on the wider community to “help us”.
Alabama Senate votes to ban gender-affirming care for trans youth
On Tuesday (2 March), lawmakers in Alabama passed senate bill 10 (SB10), an anti-transgender bill that will prohibit medical professionals from providing critical healthcare and gender-affirming treatment to trans people under the age of 19.
The bill would bar medical professionals from administering hormones or puberty blockers to trans youth, in addition to prohibiting gender-affirming surgeries for trans minors.
If the bill passes into law, it would make it a Class C felony for medical professionals to provide gender-affirming care to trans minors. This class of felony would result in a 10-year prison sentence or a $15,000 fine in Alabama.
The bill would also require teachers and staff at schools in Alabama to share with students’ parents if they learn that a “minor’s perception that his or her gender is inconsistent with his or her sex”. In effect, it would require teachers to “out” trans students to their parents.
The Montgomery Advertiser reported SB10, dubbed the Vulnerable Child Compassion and Protection Act, passed by a vote of 23-4.
If the Alabama House of Representatives approves its companion bill, HB1, and the proposal is signed by governor Kay Ivey, Alabama would be the first state in the US to pass a bill of this kind.
Republican senator Shay Shelnutt proposed the bill. According to the Montgomery Advertiser, he said he wanted to “protect children” by passing the bill. Shelnutt said: “I don’t think the same way I did at 14 when I was 25.
“You know the male brain – I don’t know when it fully matures, but you know, the human brain is not fully mature, and you know they are going to think differently.”
But the ACLU of Alabama said the bill would “criminalise medical professionals who choose to support transgender youth’s identity, forcing them to choose between the possibility of government prosecution and adhering to the evidence-based clinical guidelines of their field”.
LGBT+ activist and actor Elliot Page called on lawmakers to protect trans kids and vote no on these bills. Page wrote on Twitter: “Efforts to criminalize trans kids are deadly and we need to fight back against Alabama’s HB1/SB10.
“Trans kids’ lives depend on stopping this bill.”
Efforts to criminalize trans kids are deadly and we need to fight back against Alabama’s HB1/SB10. Trans kids’ lives depend on stopping this bill. Tell Alabama lawmakers to #ProtectTransKids #NoHB1 #NoSB10 @ACLUAlabama
— Elliot Page (@TheElliotPage) March 5, 2021
‘Make some noise’
Willa’s initial video received over 310,000 views on TikTok with many people in the comments asking how they could help the trans children and their families affected in Alabama. She posted a follow-up video calling on people to speak up against the oppression of trans and LGBT+ youth in Alabama.
“Silence and inaction of good people has always been the greatest tool used by oppressors of marginalised communities,” Willa explained. “So the best answer I can give you: Make some noise.”
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She explained people could “put boots on the ground for peaceful protesting”, put “pressure” on government officials “attempting to commit this atrocity”, write letters to “people that hold the purse strings” and call on businesses to put pressure “on where it counts – right there in the wallet”.
Willa added: “Create a network of safe havens for these people to go and get the care they need and safety.”