I write a lot about the hideous anti-transgender laws that have been and continue to be passed across the country. And I know regular readers understand the impact bans on gender-affirming care are having.
But I highly recommend reading this very well-written report by award-winning writer Casey Parks for the Washington Post about a mother in Mississippi who had to drive her 17-year-old son 8 hours to another state just to fill a testosterone prescription.
Katie had done all she could to prepare for this road trip. She’d packed candy, researched how to change a tire, and she’d spent hours on Google Maps, searching for the closest Walgreens in Alabama.
But much remained unclear. Would they make it by noon for her son Ray’s… pic.twitter.com/3roKi6Vnxz
— The Washington Post (@washingtonpost) July 28, 2023
In the article, Katie shares how her son came out of his shell and began to thrive once he realized he was transgender and started treatment (after a year of seeing a therapist).
Before Ray came out, the physical world pained him. He coughed every two minutes, and he blinked nonstop. He spent so much time with imaginary animal friends, a teacher once told Katie he needed “help.”
After he started blockers, Ray joined a theater group, and he seemed present in a way he never had. He stopped coughing and blinking. He made real friends. He earned straight A’s.
Katie figured they had time. The legislative session didn’t start until early 2023, and she believed that lawmakers would listen when she and others told them about their trans children.
But in October 2022, someone from the LGBTQ clinic left a voice mail for Jody and told him they would no longer treat Ray.
Would they make it by noon for Ray’s appointment? Would the pharmacy give him testosterone? Katie looked at her boy, a thin 17-year-old with wavy hair and an easy grin, and she asked herself the question that mattered least: Was she breaking the law? https://t.co/KW7oU2acxB
— Casey Parks (@caseyparks) July 28, 2023
As Katie drives her son, Ray, to a pharmacy in neighboring Alabama, she worries if she’ll be able to make it over the state line for a tele-health appointment with a doctor who can prescribe the medication. Then she worries will the Walgreens dispense the testosterone?
The article is beautifully written capturing moments large and small. Things that most folks, even those who may have read a bit about gender-affirming care, don’t realize.
I found the piece deeply affecting and I hope you read it. Here is a gift link to access the article for free.
If you're the family member of a trans young person impacted by anti-trans healthcare bans in the South, please get in touch through our Southern Trans Youth Emergency Project, which we're proud to operate in partnership w/ Southern organizations: https://t.co/zwjgdobQAm 3/4
— Southern Equality (@SouthernEqual) July 28, 2023