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September 16, 2021 76 mins

This episode is about addressing misinformation, educating, and correcting the record. Right wing media has gone largely unchecked making false claims, distorting statistics, and outright lying primarily about gender-affirming care for trans kids and trans women and girls in sports. The mean-spirited outcry has led to legislators quoting this media and bills becoming very real laws intended to extinguish transgender people. 2021 has seen the highest number of state bills presented and passed in the last 10 years. But the danger of these bills isn’t just for transgender people. These laws potentially affect the privacy and bodily autonomy of all kids, especially girls. //

Chase Strangio is Deputy Director for Transgender Justice with the ACLU’s LGBT & HIV Project and a nationally recognized expert on transgender rights. He has been on the frontlines defending trans rights and tells us what is happening in our nation’s courtrooms. //

Please rate, review, subscribe and share The Laverne Cox Show with everyone you know. You can find Laverne on Instagram and Twitter @LaverneCox and on Facebook at @LaverneCoxForReal. //

As always, stay in the love. //

 

References and Resources:

 

Long-Term Follow-Up of Transsexual Persons Undergoing Sex Reassignment Surgery: Cohort Study in Sweden:

https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0016885

 

// The Trevor Project National Survey on LGBTQ Youth Mental Health 2020:

https://www.thetrevorproject.org/survey-2020/?section=Introduction

 

// Legislative Tracker: Anti-Transgender Legislation: https://freedomforallamericans.org/legislative-tracker/anti-transgender-legislation/

 

// Gavin Grimm v. Gloucester County School Board (Update):

https://www.aclu.org/cases/grimm-v-gloucester-county-school-board

 

// Contrapoints video titled "Pronouns" published Nov. 2, 2018 on YouTube, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9bbINLWtMKI 


Audio Clips:

Clip 1 Bill Maher August 6, 2021, HBO, speaks to Donna de Varona; Maher misstates that 2021 was the first year trans folks have been able to compete in the Olympics. We have been eligible since 2004.

// Clip 2 The Ben Shapiro Show, July 18, 2021 via YouTube; Shapiro and Neil deGrasse Tyson discuss how the use of "science" can impede freedoms and liberty for some, (7:44-8:04) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w89etN8QqNQ

// Clip 3 Bill Maher August 6, 2021 HBO; Maher conflates sex assigned at birth with gender identity.

// Clip 4 Blaire White's YouTube channel January 10, 2018 titled: "Debate: Ben Shapiro and Blair White.” (10:56-11:06), https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hbTwoLah2VY

// Clip 5 Joe Rogan and Ben Shapiro; Joe Rogan Experience August 2, 2017 via YouTube; Taken from The Joe Rogan Experience 993; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IdjdNgvF42o

// Clip 6 Tucker Carlson, Fox News via YouTube, May 25, 2021; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-YbRNgBg9Og

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Transcript

Episode Transcript

Available transcripts are automatically generated. Complete accuracy is not guaranteed.
Speaker 1 (00:02):
Welcome to The Laverne Cox Show, a production of Shondaland
Audio in partnership with My Heart Radio. Girls can take
testosterone suppression um if they have, you know, act related
to testosterone production. I mean, there's a million ways the
end of chronologies will prescribe it, and it is simply

(00:23):
not harmful, And it is simply being banned for only
trans people because the goal, once again, to come back
to it, is not to protect anyone. It's to prevent
us from being trans. Hello everyone, and welcome to the
Laverne Cox Show. I'm Laverne Cox. When I think about

(00:46):
this current cultural moment when it comes to trans people,
I often think it's the best of times and the
worst of times. To quote that famous book. There are
more trans and non binary characters on televis Vision. Lana
Bloom became the first openly trans model on the cover
of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition. I mean, come on,

(01:09):
American Vogue finally had his first cover star, Ariel Nicholson.
We had our first trans Olympians this year. But in
this same year, an unprecedented number of anti trans bills
have been introduced in state legislators targeting trans children, thirty
five states introduced over a hundred pieces of legislation targeting

(01:31):
mostly trans girls and sports, and the ability of trans
children to access gender affirming healthcare. This discriminatory legislation is
being crafted and financed by many conservative organizations and being
relentlessly pushed through vitriolic, vicious misinformation and propaganda and mostly
conservative media. But beyond I'm seeing no response at a

(01:56):
comparable media level to the manufactured outrage and rick that
is doing harm to the lives of real trans people.
This episode is about addressing misinformation, education and correcting the record,
and I have the absolute perfect guest for today's conversation.

(02:16):
Chase Strangeo is Deputy director for Transgender Justice with the
a c L USED LGBT and HIV Project and a
nationally recognized expert on transgender rights. He was counseled and
the challenge to Trump's trans Military band and the challenge
to North Carolina's notorious anti trans law HB two, the
bathroom Bill, and counsel in a civil rights case of

(02:39):
transgender employment discrimination that went to the Supreme Court and one.
He is currently counseled and the a c L used
challenges to anti trans laws in Idaho and Arkansas. Please
enjoy my conversation with Chase STRANGEO. We just want to
give you a quick trigger warning. This episode include conversations

(03:01):
about discrimination against trans people and specifically trans children. Listener
discretion is advised. Hello. Hello, Hello, Chase Stranger. Welcome to
the podcast. How are you feeling a day, darling. Well,
it is really nice to see you and be here
with you, so that is making me feel good. Um,

(03:23):
and I'm doing okay. You know, it's a rainy day
here in New York. UM, stand inside? How are you
staying inside? Sounds like the story of the past year night.
I am, I'm good, but I'm actually kind of nervous
about this conversation today because I've never done a podcast

(03:44):
quite like this, Because I, um, I try to you know,
it's from my mental health. I try to shield myself
from negative media coverage of trans people. I try not
to engage in those arguments, and then I don't want
to use my public platform to add to the noise

(04:07):
of the US versus them, to the noise that further
divides us. I always want to come from a place
of love, loving individuals and being critical of policies and
mindsets and ideologies. So I'm nervous because I don't want
this podcast to be used as part of some sort

(04:28):
of cultural war thing. It just feels like a cess pool.
So I'm nervous, but I think we can do this
if we come from our share deep love of trans people,
are deep love of justice for for everyone and not
doing harm. You know. So yeah, that was along like
how I'm doing. But I mean, I hear that, and I,

(04:49):
you know, bless you for bringing me on. Uh if
you're trying to avoid the cess pool. Um, but I
do think that, you know, I too share that that vision,
that goal, and and I you know, I I do
sort of hope for a time when it is you're
not seen as politically controversial or cause for backlash, to

(05:14):
simply just show up and say, you know, I love
being trans, I love trans people, because I think that
is where we're coming from. But even that, I think,
in this moment that we're in, has become a site
of contestation. The idea that we should be allowed to
love ourselves and tell people that we do is is controversial,

(05:34):
and that is troubling. And I think that's, you know,
the sad reality of where we are, Yeah, and I
think ignoring it from me, I can't ignore it any
longer because it this year has been correct me if
I'm wrong. There have been more legislative attacks on trans
people and say legislatures this year than ever. Am I right?

(05:57):
I know there's been a lot over the years. This like,
is this comparable or is this the most this? This
is definitely the most. So both in terms of I
would say, you know, net numbers were definitely you know,
far exceeding anything in terms of number of anti trans
bills introduced in UM, I would say it's the most
in terms of how many bills actually advanced in state legislatures,

(06:22):
so you know, many, many more than we typically see
ended up passing out of one chamber, most of them
got hearings. These were not just throwaway bills. These were
bills that were being moved, considered, publicly debated, and then
more became law than in the past ten years combined
in this single year. So we are facing an escalation

(06:44):
that is you know, it is staggering, staggering indeed, and
we learned and disclosure my documentary on on Netflix that
the media plays a huge part in public perceptions of
trans people, and what we're seeing from mostly conservative, right
wing media about trans people is deeply disturbing. But what

(07:06):
inspired this podcast is I was watching the Bill Marshaw
a few weeks ago um August six one, and he
did a segment with Donna di Varono that was supposed
to be about trans people at the Olympics, but it
I was very disturbed by it. I mean, this is

(07:29):
the first year the trans athletes have been allowed in
the Olympics. Just now as they're wrapping up, what I
read is they didn't do too good. So he goes
on to talk more about the trans folks who competed
in the Olympics this year, but I just wanted to
stop there because that's factually incorrect. So I think it's

(07:51):
important to point out that that's actually incorrect because trans
people have actually been eligible to compete in the Olympics
since two thousand four. Right since two thousand four, the
International Olympic Committee has had standards in place where trans
people can compete. In twenty fifteen, the International Olympic Committee
amended their guidelines and this year is the first year

(08:11):
trans people have qualified. So I think when we say
in the context of a lot of media being anti
trans women in sports thing, this is the first time
trans people are allowed to compete. It supports a narrative
that like there's something going on that's new and weird
and strange, when trans people have been able to compete

(08:33):
for a really long time. And that's why I wanted
to highlight that moment. What what do you have to
say about that chase? Yeah, I mean, you know, almost
every piece on trans people, period, on trans athletes specifically,
is just full of misinformation. And I think the challenge
we're facing in this moment is that the right wing media,

(08:55):
the anti trans media, is covering trans issues a hundred
times more free really then you know any other media source.
And so what we get is we are inundated with
factual misinformation, deliberately told lies, but that are presented with
such certainty over and over again. And so even just

(09:17):
something as simple as when trans people could begin competing
in the Olympics, that is easily verifiable, and what Bill
Mare said was factually wrong, and of course it goes
on from there, and many many more factual errors are
are in that episode, as is true in every single
episode of media attacking trans people. And I think what

(09:37):
in the sports piece, right, that the the ground that
anti trans legislation has been able to gain has been
around specifically trans girls in sports. I believe it's nine
bills now, right, when I say girls, I mean girls
under the age of eighteen? Am I correct with that? Yes? So,
so there's nine states that banned trans athletes from sports

(09:59):
and have some variation. Some of them go up to college. Um,
so you know, for example, Idaho, which was the first
state to ban trans women and girls from sports, was
a band from kindergarten through the collegiate level. And then
there are a few of the bills Tennessee, for example,
that bands all trans people, so it does actually cover
transports as well. Um. But but it's largely we're largely

(10:21):
talking about girls, and we're largely talking about the k
through's wealth context. Yeah, and that is mostly what we see,
like debate after debate in conservative media about fairness and
trans women in sports. And what I will say about
that is that, um, we'll see a couple of things. So,

(10:41):
trans women have been able to compete in the Olympics
for the past fifteen years. This is the first year
we've actually had a trans woman compete Laurel Hubbard, the
trans woman who competed in weightlifting. She's in New Zealand
weightlifter failed to make her lists and didn't even metal. Right,
So the science is still there's not enough studies that

(11:02):
have been done on actual trans people and whether we
have an advantage or disadvantage. But empirically there's probably about
a handful of trans people who in um, you know,
high school sports and and other sports who have won.
And then those trans women are constantly cited when we
talk about trans women in sports and whether it's fair

(11:22):
or not. But empirically, since trans folks have been able
to play, trans women are not taking over women's sports. Yeah,
I mean separate and apart from getting into the minutia
of you know, the science of our bodies, the science
of testosterone, all the conversations about that, I think your
point is incredibly important one, which is that it is

(11:43):
not new that trans women and girls have been competing
in women and girls sports, not just at the Olympic level.
We have had the n C double A across the
United States, hundreds of thousands of athletes total competing in
colleges and universities in the United States. Trans people have
been included through the current policy for a decade. And
when I go to testifying these state legislatures, when I

(12:05):
listen to all of these conversations about trans dominance, and
they can point to a grand total of two collegiate
trans athletes who have even won anything. That's out of
you know, if you think about the hundreds and thousands
of collegiate athletes that have gone through these systems, and
so that is that is a percentage that is closed
to zero and saying when you look at the K
through twelve levels. So we have states across the country

(12:26):
that allow trans inclusion, you know, based on gender identity.
California has a state law that was passed in that
requires trans inclusion based on gender identity and athletics. I
have never and that is a huge state. I've never
even heard of a trans athlete winning anything in California.
So what we know is that we have at least

(12:47):
a decade, in some cases two decades of experience no
dominance of any kind, and yet we have these handful
of examples that become weaponized to tell a story that
is based on fear and misinformation to make people reflectively
feel like trans people are dominating. And what is so
scary about that it's not really trans people winning sporting events.

(13:08):
It's the sort of specter of transness and being confronted
with trans people in our bodies. And that is sort
of what we're being fed over and over and over again,
because when we listen into these debates. For example, thirty
five states introduced bills attempting to ban trans women and
girls from sports. All of these hearings, you would seriously
think that Lebron James is stepping on as seventh grade

(13:33):
basketball court with girls. That's how they're talking about this.
This isn't a real conversation that we're having, and I
think we have to sort of take down the temperature
and really remind ourselves of what's going on here. And
I think why the fourth thing has caught on so
strongly is because when we talk about sports and we

(13:54):
talk about physical advantages, then we have to talk about
bodies and strength, and then we can reduced trans people
to bodies. And I have been saying since I've had
a public platform, is when we reduce trans people, do surgery,
transition bodies, body parts, chromosomes were objectifying trans people, we
reduced them to a body part, to a limb, to

(14:14):
a chromosome. We're objectifying them, and we objectify people, were
dehumanizing them. And so that has been the most disturbing
part for me, And partly why I haven't wanted to
talk about this publicly is because it is so dehumanizing
and I don't want to engage in conversations that dehumanized
trans people. And what I also find curious is that

(14:36):
with most of the anti trans sports bills that have
been introduced, many of them have been accompanied by bands
on gender affirm and care for trans kids. And I
literally was thinking, like, wait a minute, what is undisputed
is that most of the advantage that a trans person
would have, or that someone assigned mail at birth um

(14:57):
would have, would happen after puberty. If trans girls have
access to puberty blockers, there's absolutely no advantage. So while
puberty blockers and you know, gender firming care isn't the
right answer for every trans youth, I'm not saying that's
the case. I think that is something that should be
decided between the trans youth, their parents, and their doctor.

(15:17):
But if we make that care available and the trans
kids who want to have puberty blockers, have access to it,
then the whole question of an advantage with children at
least becomes moved. Yeah, I mean, and I think this
is a reminder again it's it's not about protecting women's sports.
It's not about competitive advantage, because when you look at

(15:40):
what's happening, these bills are being introduced together. These bills
at their core are about stopping people from being trans,
which of course you cannot do other than by killing them.
But that is the goal here. They don't think, you know,
and it's it's written right into the preamble of the
health care bills. It is inherently harmful to be trans.
We want to stop kids from having access to transition

(16:01):
because they're more likely to become trans adults. And they're
introducing these bills in conjunction with each other because it
situates the conversation on the body. Like you said, it
forces people to have a conversation about kids bodies, which
nobody should be having in the way that they are.
It is incredibly creepy. It's opening the door to all

(16:22):
hosts of regulations of children's bodies that everyone should be
very much afraid of, you know, trans kids and sis kids,
like all of these bills have mechanisms for enforcements that
could seriously erode the privacy and bodily autonomy protections of
young women and girls in particular. Um, but ultimately you know,
these are pre drafted bills part of a well coordinated

(16:44):
movement that are designed for the sole an exclusive purpose
at their core, to stop kids from being trans at all. Yeah, yeah,
they're I think it was in Florida where one of
I don't know if the bill passed or not, but
if I could call correctly, if a child's gender within question,
their genitals could be inspected in the chromosome test, am

(17:06):
I Yeah, so they can't even like saying it out
loud feels like I don't, I feel like I need
take a shower. Yes, we should all be is just
like really just like such a violation that we would
be doing this in the name of protecting anyone? Is
is you know a dystopian? You know? Well, so Florida
passed an anti trans sports bill. It's not they had

(17:27):
multiple One of the versions, I think the one that
you're referring to had in it this panel of physicians
that could be convened to inspect the records and bodies
of young people to quote unquote determine who was eligible
to play. And again we have to remind ourselves that,
you know, trans people are incredibly small percentage of the population,

(17:51):
and we are already pushed out of school and sports
at incredibly high rates. So what these bills are largely doing,
are too thinks. You know, first is just entrenching discriminatory
norms of sex that ultimately are designed to you know,
hurt trans people across the board. But second is expanding

(18:13):
the power of the state to surveil all the bodies
of young athletes, and because most young athletes are gonna
be SIS, it's gonna hurt them, and that I think
is just you know, one of the things that has
really been lost in this conversation is that, you know,
the policing of particularly SIS young women and girls of
color in sports is so high. The screwiny of their bodies,

(18:36):
especially if you look at black young women and professional
athletes who are black, you know, you have high rates
of policing their you know, subjects to extra scrutiny, extra
drug testing. You know. The intended targets, of course are
trans people, but but the the impact will be felt
for many other people, and I think you know that
is really troubling. And all of the bills, like the
Florida one that you alluded to, do you have some

(18:58):
sort of enforcement mechanism that authorizes the state to inquire
in one way or another into the genitals, the reproductive anatomy,
and the chromosomes of children. And if you think about
the contacts that we're living in right now, we're on
the one hand, you have the Supreme Court eroting abortion
rights left and right, that the ability to control one's
body being eroded left or right, while at the same time,

(19:20):
you know, we're having conversations about mass mandates in fringe
upon people's bodily autonomy. There's a core hypocrisy in all
of this. And in some ways, trans people are the
canaries in the coal mine because we have been one
of the first lines of attack in so many of
these state legislatures over the past five years, and we're
only seeing the expansion of those types of attack. And

(19:43):
I think it's incredibly concerning to see how easy it's
been for states to move these anti transports bills, given
the degree to which they intrude upon the bodies and
the autonomy and the self determination of children in schools,
and I think part of it is um I the
media has a lot to cover, but the media is
not covering it, and our lgbt Q plus organizations are

(20:05):
not pressuring the media to coverage, so a lot of
people don't even know that it's going on. I want
to go to the next clip, and it's a It's
a moment on being Shapio show. He recently did a
debate with scientists Neil Degrass Tyson, and I want to
play this clip because I think it sets us up
nicely for the rest of the conversation. My general take
on all of this stuff, climate change to gender dysphoria,

(20:27):
to all these issues is bring out the science and
then let's hash it out. I think that the problem.
I'm seeing a lot of science motivation. Why Why does
that matter? It matters because if you have political power,
you could end up creating legislation that subtracts freedoms from
people who previously were enjoying the same freedoms as you
the history of that exercise and make a better argument.

(20:50):
I encourage people to go and watch. The clip is
from the July one episode of The Bentrepio show on YouTube. Um,
but what with really interesting about the debate is that
Ben Superior is often sort of citing science and biology
and and what I loved about Neil de grass Tyson's
argument is like, well, well, what's your motivation. It's like

(21:14):
science has historically been used to take away people's liberties, right,
And I think for me, the science question around trans
people is utterly incompletely irrelevant in most situations. We don't
know people's genitalia, We don't know their chromosomes. You know,
if you listen to a Ben Superio you know episode

(21:35):
he's constantly talking about men and women based on chromosomes
and genitalia in the capacity to reproduce. And these are
things that are not things that we interact with I
walked down the street or I like interact with. I
have no idea what someone's genitials are. And that the
space of using science to take away people's liberties is
really a huge part of what the talking points and

(21:58):
conservative media are about. Can you taught to us a
little bit about your understanding from a legal perspective around
how biology and biological sex are used and weaponized against
trans folks? Yeah, I mean I think it's such an
important point, not to say that we should abandon science,
but we should always be asking the question, what is
our motivation for utilizing what we're claiming as a scientific

(22:21):
discourse and why? And I think, um, you know, when
you look at the history of the regulation of trans
people in the law, what you see is that the
very first time in the United States that biological sex
as a term was used in a law was in
when North Carolina passed HB two. There was no biological

(22:43):
sex as a legal concept. There was sex, and in fact,
in the law, sex and gender are used interchangeably. We
talked about protections based on sex, which includes sex stereotypes.
There was no concept of biological sex. So when you
say there's no such thing, is biolaw tical sets you're
talking in legal terms, and the idea of biological sex

(23:04):
being a recent phenomenon, Am I correct? Yeah, it's a
recent phenomenon that emerged for the sole and exclusive purpose
to exclude trans people from space, that emerged with the
bathroom bills, and it's now being used in healthcare bands
and sports bands and locker room bands and bands on
pronoun used. And the reason why I say it doesn't
exist is because it's an ever changing concept in the

(23:26):
law whose definition changes so that it can always mean
not trans people. Protections for anyone, but not trans people.
And I think that one of the best examples of
this was in Gavin Groom's case in in Gloucester County, Virginia,
when Gavin's in high school in and they, you know,
seek to ban him from the restroom after he uses

(23:47):
it for a period of time, just because he's the
young man who's trans. They've passed the policy saying that
you can only use restrooms based on quote unquote biological gender.
Did they say biological gender? And in this case they
say biological gender. So again, you know, these are folks
who are just flying around with terms. You know, they're

(24:08):
googling things. Who knows where they're getting it. So in
the six years that we litigated Gamin's case, they changed
the definition of biological gender repeatedly. It was never defined
by the way in the policy. Um and you know,
it took many forms. At first, it was oh, it's
your genitals, and then it's like, actually, no, it's your
birth certificate. But when Gavin changed his birth certificate, they're like, actually,

(24:29):
it's not the birth certificate, it's surgery. And then when
Gavin had surgery, they're like, actually, it's not surgery, it's chromosomes.
And then in you know, the course of litigation, when
they were claiming that the interest that they were protecting
was privacy, they couldn't explain how chromosomes connected to privacy,
and so they kept changing the definition again. And so

(24:49):
I think what we have to remember is biological gender.
Biological sex as legal terms, are moving targets that are
constantly being reshaped to hurt trans people. They're weaponized against
trans people, and they have no history in American law. Um,
And so when we would hear those words, we have
to ask ourselves why is this being deployed and who

(25:11):
is it intending to hurt. This is a good time
to take a little break. We're back in a piece
you wrote titled There's no such thing as a male body,

(25:33):
which I love you wrote. At birth, we classify infants
as male or female based solely on the appearance of
their external genitalia. Notably, this classification serves population control and
surveillance and not medical purposes. The medical experts I have
spoken with could not identify a single medical purpose for

(25:53):
assigning sex at birth and explain that the components of
sex are far more complex than just external genitalia, and
include at least chromosomes, genes, hormones, internal genitalia, gender identity,
and secondary sex characteristics. By embracing a narrative that one

(26:15):
is born with a male body, we reinforce the idea
that only the bodies we assign at birth, bodies that
have medically normative penises, are male. I love that. I
love that it actually um, because I think that can
take us into the next clip. Actually um. This is
from Bill Maher's show August six, Real Time with Bill

(26:38):
Maher and the in the guidance on the Olympic coverage
that Fox Sports put out, Listen to the statement, no
one is born with a gender identity. Everyone is born
a baby and their gender is assigned to them by doctors.
This attempt to make, you know, overturn the whole world
and pretend that this is something that we just you know,

(27:00):
a penis, Well, it could be an indicator of anything exactly.
I mean, that's funny. Penis. It could be an indicator
of anything. What I love about that is like I'm like, yeah,
it actually can be like was the problem for me.
What's the problem? I think this whole thing around a
penis being destiny. I mean, so much of the anxiety

(27:22):
usually is not about men with vaginas. It's usually about
like the possibility of a woman with a penis, and
people are just really really terrified of the idea of
a woman with the penis or having once had one.
And so to also just break down what happened there,
Bill Maher conflated gender identity and sex assigned at birth.

(27:43):
So we have sex assigned it birth based on genitalia,
as we just heard from your piece, and then we
have gender are Sociologists for years have said that gender
is an understanding of like how we express ourselves in
terms of being male female, both are neither in it's
different in every culture, it's different in different times, and
so gender is something that is socially constructed. For the

(28:06):
most part, most people, their gender aligns with the sex
that they are assigned at birth um. But for some people, transfolkes,
non binary people are gender doesn't align and we do
things or don't do things to make ourselves more um integrated,
And so the conflation it's so weird because I was like,
I because I a few years ago, like I'm done

(28:27):
with the trans one oh one, But apparently we can't
be done with the trans one oh one when we
have statements like that that conflate gender gender identity with
sex assigned at birth. And I think that the whole
thing of like is it possible to move away from
the penis is destiny because when we say like, you're

(28:48):
born this way, it's just based on external genitalia, and
we are so much more than that. Men, women, non
binary people are so much more than like what's between
our legs that a doctor decides at birth. Like my
empathetic part of it is like, oh my god, you know,
and I've been saying this for years. The first thing
we ask when someone is pregnant is like, is it

(29:09):
a boy or a girl? And so there's something so
fundamental about it. And I guess it's destabilizing for people
to think of the presence of a penis and not
automatically think that the person who might have that is male.
But like, for me, I go to the real lived
experiences of trans people, right, even if that's like a

(29:31):
weird concept. Free right, If if we love trans people
and if we respect trans people and believe they're deserving
of respect and love. It means that we respect how
they identify themselves. So what a trans woman says that
she's a woman, we respect that we believe them when
they say who they are. That trans woman might have

(29:51):
a penis, So then you know, Bill Maher or a
Ben Saperia might say we're insane, that that's that's what
they say. They say they're trans people are crazy. But
if we don't pathologize trans people and believe that we
are who we say we are in love and respect us,
then we must think differently about the presence of a

(30:12):
penis and a vagina and a baby when that baby
is born, taking into consideration the existence of trans people,
the fact that we manifest, and so this means, yes,
a penis can be an indication of many things. Yeah,
well I mean and and well sudden and and how

(30:33):
important because I think the sort of deeply entrenched, sort
of structural myth that a penis must be an indicator
of maleness and vagina must be an indicator of femaleness
is the animating driver of this notion of transness as fraud.
The idea that if you are a trans person, you

(30:55):
are concealing something from the world, and that the exposing
that becomes also the source of an incredible amount of violence.
The idea that if someone is discovered to have body
parts that don't line up with our story that we
tell ourselves in this country and in this world about
you know, how these body parts have to align with
someone's identification and external presentation. And we have essentially sort

(31:18):
of created the condition that excuse people violently enacting uh,
you know, their resistance to that concept on people's bodies
and so much of this. Let's let's let's go into
the next clip and then we'll talk it because I
think we're talking about having a conversation about language, is
if um a deeper conversation about language. Um. It's been
Shapiro chatting with Blair White, and the clip is from

(31:39):
Blair White's YouTube channel, from a January ten, eighteen episode
titled Debate Ben Shapiro and Blair White. You know, I'm
the editor of a pretty major site, and my basic
rules that when we're discussing people are friends, we immediately
say in the first paragraph trans woman, and then refers
to them by their biological pronoun because biology is the
nature of the pronoun. This is a special bad Shapiro moment.

(32:03):
Biology is the nature of the pronoun. I guess we
are assigned pronouns at birth too. Huh Um, you know
this is not too you know again, I don't want
to derive Mr Shapiro. I don't know him. But biology
is the nature of the pronoun is hilarious when it's

(32:24):
really really funny. And then also in another interview with
Joe Rogan, um, Mr Shapiro says that he will call
Caitlyn Jenner Caitlyn Jenner, but he will not call Caitlyn
Jenner sheet because you can change your name and you
can't change your sex. Um, he says that Caitlyn Jenner
is a man, she has male chromosomes. Blah blah blah.
That that sort of argument. And then, um, what's actually

(32:47):
really beautiful. I encourage people to go and watch ContraPoints
video titled Pronouns published on November two on YouTube because
she talks about them that this is really about language
and how we assign meaning. We assigned meaning to body parts. So, um,
I think what I want to say about pronouns, and

(33:08):
I've been saying this for years, is that miss gendering
trans people. I've said that it's an act of violence,
and I've been criticized for that. UM, and I always
talk about those different kinds of violence, of structural violence.
There is a direct violence, there is systemic about there's
different kinds of violence. And oftentimes when we missed gender
trans folks, it's in the in the context of my life.

(33:29):
It's often led to my safety being in question when
someone has called me a man on the street or
that's that's a dude. It's being yelled at me, and
it feels very much like I need to get out
of there or I might you know, get beating up
or killed. Um. I mean, beyond the disrespect is the

(33:51):
insisting that trans people are always and only their gender
we were assigned at birth. You know, people have asked
me what's the biggest, you know, thing that trans people
have to face, and really that and it's baked into
all of this that trans people can never really be
who we say we are based on some genitalia that
a doctor you know, as signs meaning to yeah. I mean,

(34:12):
you know, there's obviously the ways in which like people
accidentally mispronoun people all the time. Since people and trans
people and that's you know, part of life. And then
and I yeah, and for me, I want to give
people grace. I'm not into attacking people if they get
someone's pronoun wrong, but you know, try, yeah, like trying.
And then also we're not talking about casualness, gendering and

(34:32):
a lot of these contexts. We are talking about the
deliberate and repeated insistence, as you know, of referring to
individuals by their assignce sex effort, despite the fact that
they are telling us who they are. And this idea
that trans people simply cannot know who we are um
and that who we know ourselves to be is is

(34:53):
actually a delusion. I mean, that's what we're seeing in
litigation now, is the argument that, you know, affirming a
trans person is akin to feeding a delusion, and the
arguments that are being leveraged largely against trans young people,
you know, because that's where we're seeing, you know, the
majority of these state legislative attacks, and the insistence in

(35:14):
legislative hearings talking about trans girls repeatedly as not just
biological males, as males, as boys, over and over again
to send a message that we will never see you
for who you are, and we are working day and
night to entrench a set of policies to not only
push you out of spaces with your peers, but to
create governmental interests that are essentially that it is harmful

(35:38):
for you to be you um. And then that gives
the power of the state to then come in and
try to stop people from being trans. And and so
I see the mis gendering as part and parcel to
that erasure of the dignity of trans people, of our
ability to have legal protections, and of of our humanity
full stop. And now I think that's what we're seeing,
you know, in court, in legal papers and briefs. You know,

(36:00):
in the context of these healthcare bands, there's you know,
this incredibly patronizing and misogynistic discourse about the idea that
quote unquote girls are being pressured into transition um and
that we're losing lesbians, we're losing you know, we're losing tomboys.
All to this you know, sort of mass hysteria of transition.
And in the process, the repeated reference to trans boys

(36:23):
as girls, as as biological girls, as girls who are
mutilating their bodies by having top surgery, for example, is
so deliberate. It is so calculated, and it is not
simply about language. It's not about oh, well, I you know,
I want to use up to hear language. It's about
weaponizing language in the service of a very scary project

(36:43):
to inhibit the ability of trans people to survive. And
that's why it's violent. That's why, and that's why it's violent.
It has a eugenics undertone and a eugenics impulse because
what we're seeing now over and over again is the
idea that the goal of this legislation is to decrease
the number of trans people that there are. And when
you have government, we just actually paused. The goal of

(37:06):
this legislation is to decrease the number of trans people
that there are. I think that we just need to
let that settle in for a second. That's clearly the truth.
Please continue chase. Yeah. And when you have governments, you know,
being pushed by global well funded movements to enact policies

(37:26):
to decrease the numbers of a population, that is a
eugenics program at core, and that is what we're up against.
And they are tapping into people's fears. They are using
tools like the systemic nous gendering of people, um trying
to appeal to notions of science and notions of biology
and things that we reflexively believe because we're taught our

(37:49):
whole lives, which is that there are two sexes and
that we can easily identify them. But but that isn't
true as a scientific matter, that isn't true as a
legal matter, and that just simply isn't true a social matter.
And so I think that yes, the world as you know,
It's like why Bill Maher was like, oh, these people
are trying to overturn everything in the world. It's like
in maybe in your world, the things that are important

(38:12):
to you, Bill Maher are being challenged. That doesn't mean
that the world is being overturned. Well, you know, our
norms change over time about everything. You know. It's like
the people in the United States used to drink and
smoke cigarettes when they were pregnant, and then they didn't.
You know, It's like we were instructed all the time
about what is good and bad, what everything changes. And

(38:34):
I think that should not be a threat to you
if you are securing who you are, if you I
mean some I think there's two things going on. I
think some people trans people invite them to question their
own gender, I think too, honestly, and a patriarchal culture.
I can't help but think that that's part of the

(38:56):
anxiety too. It is part of the anxiety that men
want to know for sure that the person he's womanizing
on the street was assigned female at birth. And so
there's this whole other element I think to this where
it's like people want this certainty around gender because it's
also about power. Some people are uncomfortable because they don't

(39:18):
want to think about all this stuff, but I think
sometimes it's about power, and we in the intersectional nature
of how all this works cannot be overlooked. Um On
an episode of sixty Minutes that aired on May, there
was a lot of controversy around it. It It was a
segment done by Leslie Stall that focused on de transitioners,

(39:40):
those folks who undergo gender transition, regretted and transition back.
The segment got a lot of backlash. Opponents of the
segment feared that it would be used to invalidate trans
identity by anti transforces. I spoke out about the episode
at the time because I felt, once again in the media,
we were reducing trans identity to transition hormones and surgery.

(40:02):
De transitioners felt that they were they were they were
attempts to silence them and their experience. What are your
thoughts on that sixty minutes segment and then the way
in which de transition can be used in this current
environment of the proliferation of anti trans legislation. Yeah, I mean,

(40:24):
I think this is incredibly you know, complicated conversation, in
part because it's it's not about, you know, who gets
to tell their story, it's about why our story is
being told and how because right now, we don't live
in a world that stops people from de transitioning. We

(40:45):
live in a world that is invested in people not
being trans And so what these stories are being used
for and what the media is capitalizing on is this
larger narrative that trans people regret their transition and are
harmed by being trans And so it's playing right in

(41:07):
to the fundamental premise of every piece of legislation that
we're fighting against, because ultimately what they're trying to do
and and and frankly, they did this in the abortion
context too, with abortion regret, which is to say, there
are a very very very small number of people who
didn't get the care they wanted, regretted the care they had.
And within that very very small number of people, there's

(41:30):
an even smaller number of them who are invested in
using their stories to harm trans people. There are many
who just go about their lives, and then there's the
small number of the already small number, and it gets
just like the trans athletes who are good at sports,
of which there is an incredibly small number, it gets
completely oversaturated in the media, becomes disproportionately talked about, so

(41:51):
that there is a sense that transition, that gender affirmation
is harmful, and that kids are being rushed into it
um And that is a problem for so many reasons,
because first, it is already incredibly difficult to get access
to gender affirment care in this country and around the world,

(42:12):
and so this idea that people you know, and then
you know, they'll find people to say, oh, I walked
into you know, they make it sound like you can
walk into a CBS and get purity blockers. Well, the
sixty minutes segment featured a number of trans people who said,
after two therapy sessions they were given testosterone. I think
they were televisits and they were given testosterone after two visits,

(42:33):
and after three one of the de transitioners said that
they went to have an orchiac to me, right, So
one de transitioners say that they transitioned and de transitioned
within the space of a year. Right that once they
had their top surgery, they started having this this feeling
of regret or whatever. So and I think about that.
I'm just you know, I've been in this game for
a minute. I'm like, how did you Where did you go?

(42:55):
You could get I know a lot of trans people.
I don't know anybody who's gotten form that legally that quickly,
and you certainly can't get them without your parents, and
there's a huge process and there's tons of bureaucracy, and
insurance doesn't always cover it, and it's a huge fight.
So the idea that we're you know, and yes, there
may be a few examples, like with anything like of
of care being administered unaccountably, um, and we use that

(43:18):
you know, someone wasn't you know, properly diagnosed. That's true
of every single mental condition. That's just always going to
be true. But you know, it's like if someone's misdiagnosed
with cancer, and given the wrong treatment, it's a tragedy.
But we don't stop cancer treatment as writ large. We
just simply don't engage with medicine that way. And when
you think about the fact that you know, there's not
a sixty minute special about all of the people who

(43:40):
were lucky enough to have access to gender firm and
care as young people, and how it saved their lives,
and that how harmful it is for these bands to
be coming out and what it will do to kids
to have their care cut off, Like why in a moment,
I would love to see that segment and we are
not seeing that segment. And we're but in the midst
of this set of attacks, what we're hearing is about

(44:00):
how there's people who regret their transition, how people rush
into transition. That feeds right into the narrative that we
are fighting in state legislatures, that we are fighting in court.
We hear from the same quote unquote detransitioners and every
single piece of litigation who claimed that you know, it
wasn't right for them and that it should be available
to no one um. And you know, if you are
using your personal experience to take away legal protection, to

(44:22):
take away health care for other people. Then I think
I have a lot of questions for for for you
about why that is your journey. But at the end
of the day, it's not about restricting people's stories. It's
about asking why we hear disproportionately about something that is
so rare in a moment when you know we're we're
fighting so hard just to maintain the already meagul or
health care that we are able to get. And in

(44:44):
the context of these you know, attacks on on trans youth,
in particular in the medical care that you know many
trans and people need, there is such an incredible amount
of distortion about the society and and what we know
to be true about about this care, which is that
it is you know safe, in the case of blockers,
it is reversible, and in the case of all of it,

(45:07):
it is effective, and that almost no one regrets the
treatment percentage wise. That doesn't mean you can't find people,
but in terms of percentages um, this care has is
incredibly effective. Insofar as you know you have people for
whom this is the difference between life or death, that
their dysphoria, their distress goes down so significantly when they

(45:28):
have access to this care. And what we're seeing is
states trying to ban it, some states trying to criminalize it,
using these very rare circumstances in which people regret some
aspect of their care um as a justification. Uh and
and I think that's really scary. But deep to me
is that someone would have their de transition experience and

(45:48):
say no one should be to experience this. That's just
I'm just trying to wrap my head around that, and
it's just I'm in preparing for this. I did watch
a documentary where someone who had de transition and he
was on a mission, you know, to make sure that
other people didn't, which makes me so sad because I

(46:09):
think about my own life and how life saving my
transition was it really was, and how happy I was
even as I struggled, even before I was like famous
Laverne Cox and I was struggling to pay rent and like,
you know, doing my thing in New York. But I
was so much happier in my truth than I was
trying to live a lie, and it was just wonderful.

(46:30):
I mean, I'm not saying my life has been easy.
Discrimination is awful. It sucks, and that's real. But I
wouldn't trade myself. I wouldn't trade being myself. You know,
we changed the discrimination we don't like. You know, we
we stay ourselves, so I you know, and everyone's story.
I've known personally known people who do transition and that

(46:54):
was the right thing for them. But I think for me,
the bigger thing that we haven't said is that the
stage and not be involved in medical decisions that people
make about their bodies. I think that is I need
to drive that home. I believe in bodily autonomy and
pro choice. I don't think the states should be involved
in making decisions about people of lotties. If their children

(47:15):
should be between the child, their parents and their doctor,
if we're adults should be between that doctor and us
and the government. Really it's really not the government's business.
I mean, I think it's also important to stay that
they're we're just sort of being used as a political
football as well, Like they're real consequences to this, we're
real people, but we're also just being used because the
Republican Party has nothing really to offer beyond these sort

(47:38):
of cultural battles, I mean, like their legislative agenda and
state legislators. This year has been critical race theory voter
suppression and trans bills. Yeah, I mean, and that's what
we're seeing over and over again. And I think that
when you look at you know the way these bills
are are being pushed, and that's true of all three
of those categories. A lot of times you're seeing them

(48:00):
being pushed through in a matter of hours, um. And
what that is signaling is that you know, people aren't
debating them, people aren't looking at studies. They're getting pre
drafted bills from groups that are solely committed to this
draft in the bills, shipping them out. And then you
know lawmakers who are afraid of being primaried from the
right just speaking out about how they hate trans people.

(48:22):
They don't know what they're talking about nine at the time,
especially in these healthcare bills. I mean, they couldn't even
pronounce the care that they were banning because they didn't
sit with it. They didn't know um. And it wasn't
like there were a bunch of people calling up lawmakers
in Arkansas and being like, you know, the most important
thing to me is your constituent is to make sure
no one gets puberty blockers. That's not the crisis that

(48:43):
people are contending with in masks in the middle of
a pandemic. It is now a crisis because there's hundreds
of trans kids who might lose their care. But you know, again,
these are very specific, you know, politically motivated attacks that
unfortunately have devastating and catastrophic car Absolutely, let's go to
the next clip from the Joe Rogan Experience August second,

(49:05):
twenty seventeen. Now, when people say that there's suicide rate
amongst transgender people, um, one of the arguments that I've
heard is it's because they're not accepted, right, I've heard
this day yet, and that if they were accepted and
then they felt themselves and they felt loved for their
true self, then it would be just like everybody else.

(49:26):
And if there have seen no evidence to suggest that
if there's if there is a decrease based on treatment,
then it's marginal at best. What do you have to
say that, Chase, Oh my god, so many things. So
again going back to like coming back to the core
of what we're seeing right now again is there is
a desire to cast transmits that's inherently harmful. So they

(49:47):
are they are invested in the narrative that it is
harmful to be us. And then their solution to that
is to make fewer trans people, So they use this
rhetoric of actually transition doesn't help, it's still harmful, so
we should devene. And even in the sports bills in
our litigation in Idaho, for example, you know, they're arguing
that the law doesn't actually harm our transplaintiff because according

(50:11):
to them, you know, quote and I'm reading now from
ads brief in in the district of Idaho and in
our Key Cocks to be little case saying quote, many
studies document that those who persist in living in a
transgender identity into adulthood suffer severely poor mental and physical
health throughout their lifetimes, even after quote transition, quote affirmation

(50:32):
and cross sex hormones, and even after so called sex
reassignment surgery. As a result, Key Cops can show no
likelihood of tangible harm from the law. And this is
what we're seeing over and over again, that the harm
is being trans and and there is no benefit to
the care um and and and they're lying, I mean

(50:53):
they're not so so they're lying in a number of
different ways. And I think it's really important. First, that's
why I brought the clip because it's it's real bad,
it's dangerous, it's dangerous, it's dangerous as because so so
there's a number of ways they're they're using this statistic,
but one of the lives that they're sort of they
cite a lot to this. This Swedish study which is
from I think eleven that you know, essentially has certain

(51:17):
conclusions about the the mental health outcomes post surgery from
a cohort of people, and the numbers that they often
cite to compare the mental health outcomes for the trans
population post surgery to SIST people, not to trans people

(51:37):
who did not have surgery, and so, yes, trans people
have worse mental health outcomes often then SIS people, even
after transition in many cases because we experience discrimination and violence,
and that is to be expected. But that does not
mean that the gender transition, that the gender affirmation, that
the health care that we're receiving made us worse. It

(51:59):
just didn't bring us to our SIS peers. However, those
are studies about surgery on adults over a decade ago,
not the data that we currently have about affirming youth,
and that data shows unequivocally that in fact, you affirm
young people in their identity through whatever is medically indicated,

(52:22):
whether that's blockers or social transition or hormones, that you
do see mental health outcomes comparable to their to their
sis peers um. And again, we have the possibility to
improve the mental health outcomes for younger people in ways
we didn't in the hostile world that are you know,
adults who are living in that the you know, older
studies are documented, but even those older studies aren't saying

(52:43):
that the care made us worse. And the study authors
themselves say, do not use this study to claim that
the surgery was not effective. And yet here we are,
and one of the main right wing talking points, despite
the study itself, despite the very clear language UM, is
to say that the care itself is harmful and that
being trans is harmful and there's nothing you can do

(53:03):
about it. So the goals should be to stop people
from being trans. So, after listening to this episode and
Chase bringing up this Swedish study specifically, I thought it
was really important to include a clip from Tucker Carlson
where he stites this Swedish study. So our next slip
is from Tucker Carlson posted on YouTube on MA one

(53:25):
titled most Americans aren't aware of the research. Researchers in
Sweden found the same thing. After ten years of study,
the Swedes concluded that people who underwent sex reassignment surgery
were ninetent more likely to commit suicide. The risk of
psychiatric hospitalization was nearly three times greater. In other words,
it was an utter disaster. So to listen to the

(53:50):
Tucker Carlson clip as it is suggest that if you
are trans and you have gender affirming care, that you're
nineteen times more likely to commit suicide than if you don't.
That is the suggestion that Tucker Carlson is making. But

(54:10):
what he is misstating based on the study is that
he um, what what the study is doing, and Chase
points this out, is that, Um, the flaw in the
study is that they're not comparing the psychological and emotional
health of trans people who underwent gender confirming surgery with
trans people who did not undergo gender confirming surgery. They're

(54:33):
comparing trans people with non trans people. So Turcko Carlson
in this moment is misstating the actual results of the
study that he is citing. First of all, and to
read from the study itself and Chase alludes to this.
The authors concluded, though, that the evidence base for sex

(54:54):
reassignment is a very low quality due to this serious
methodological limitation sins of included studies. The methodological shortcomings have
many reasons. First, the nature of sex reassignment precludes double
bind randomized control studies of the results. Second, trans sexualism

(55:14):
is rare and many follow ups are hampered by small
numbers of subjects. Third, many sex reassigned persons declined to
participate in follow up studies or relocate after surgery, resulting
in high dropout rates and subsequent selection bias. Four, Several
follow up studies are hampered by limited follow up periods.

(55:36):
Taken together, these limitations preclude solid and generalizable conclusions. A
long term population based control study is one way to
address these methodological shortcomings. So again, this is from the
Swedish study itself, which concedes the methodological limitations of the

(55:59):
study itself. It's this that we basically need more research,
and just from my own personal experience, the study was
done about ten years ago when a lot of trans
people transition um Historically, the standards of care suggests that
that you transition and then you do not talk about
being trans anymore, you change location so that no one

(56:20):
else ever knows that your trans. This was the medical
protocol for decades. And one of the things, you know,
I just want to as a side note, data inclusion
and data collection around trans people is sorely, sorely um inadequate.
There's so much data that we don't have on trans people.
We don't actually even count the numbers of trans people

(56:40):
in the United States because we don't include us in
the census. So whenever a commentator, conservative commentator is citing science,
they're citing science from really limited research. So referring to
this Swedish study in sight and making it, you know,
seeing as if trans people are more likely to commit

(57:01):
suicide after sex reassignment surgery is misinformation. It's misuse of
this study, and it is dangerous. Now back to our
regular schedule programming. And this type of distortion of what
studies are are showing is done incredibly affective by the right,
and it is incredibly insidious and um and and it's

(57:25):
it's so upsetting because as trans people, we know we're
like all people do better where we get our healthcare. Absolutely,
And so there's a couple of things that came up
for me. There the study there, So there's the U
S Trans Survey, the latest one that says of trans
folks have attempted suicide in our lifetime. I believe it's
a glistened study that said that of trans young people

(57:47):
have attempted suicide. This is in our lifetime, right. There's
no statistics anywhere that site a suicide rate of trans
people after we transition, and this is an attempt of suicide.
I'm like, wait, you're just completely distorting the statistics. That's
like that we've attempted suicide. Yes, because it's hard being trans. Yes,

(58:10):
because people don't accept us. Yes, And I know people,
it's just like something that you just don't want to
we're real people. You can't like take statistics like suicide
when many of us have attempted suicide, have had people
who we've lost, and then you take statistics and distort
them for some political game when it's like our real lives,

(58:31):
like we're real people. It's like so upsetting to me.
I'm sorry, give me a second, um no, I mean
it's it's it's so it's so so so upsetting and
it's so harmful. Mhmm. This is really hard to talk
about because we are real people just reduced to to surgery.
And I think too, what's frustrating from me too, is

(58:54):
that we still have not been able to change the
narrative that being trans is about surgery. When Rand Paul
was was interviewing that Biden appointee whose name escapes me
right now, Dr Levine, Yes, Dr Levine, when he was
interviewing Dr Levine during her confirmation, he was talking about,
you know, genital mutilation, and people still think that being

(59:16):
trans is about surgery. I know so many trans people
who have never had a surgical procedure in their life
and they're still trans. And so I wish that we
can stop thinking about transis in terms of surgery, stop
talking about surgery, and just talk about like the human
beings and the lived experiences. And that's part of what

(59:38):
is so detrimental about the nature of this conservative coverage
on trans people. They make it all about bodies and surgery,
and they do that to objectify us. They do that
to dehumanize us. They miss gender us to have the
specter of a man in a a in a girl's

(59:58):
locker room, you know. So, so the mis gender ing
is to outrage people and the fact that there's just
not enough pushback. I know it's hard, it's hard to watch.
I sat through over the weekend watching a lot conservative
media and I was sick to my stomach. It's really
hard stuff to watch as a real life trans person

(01:00:20):
set time again, A lot more is coming now without
further ado. When I started transitioning in most of the
girls I knew, I went to the doctor, But most
of the girls I knew got through hormones from God

(01:00:41):
named Ralph who came by. You know, he would I
prefer when the girls were in a group so he
could sell like to all the girls. But we got
our hormones on the street, like a lot of girls
got hormones on the street back in the day. And
like denying trans people healthcare is not going to deny
us hormones. You know, we're gonna get our hormones, right
and people are gonna get it. Yeah, we're getting You're

(01:01:03):
not gonna stop us from being trans. And the idea
is that we wanted to be healthy. We want to
make sure that trans folks have access to the best
care because that's what we deserve. But you're not going
to stop us from being trans. Just just leave us alone. Yes, yeah,
I mean, that's it's it. And you know, we will
we will take care of our people. We will find

(01:01:25):
a way. We will make sure people get the health
care that they need. But it will be less safe,
it will be you know, more precarious, and especially for
people who aren't as connected to community, people in rural places,
people who you know, don't have access to any money,
there are gonna be markets for care that are much
more dangerous. And that is true when you ban health care.

(01:01:47):
It's true. When you ban abortion, it's true, when you
ban hormones, it's just gonna be true. But I also
want to say two in the in the context of
the media, it's the going back to your point about
waiting trans people's surgery. Um, it's not even just the
right wing media. It's like you can see so many
news articles, for example, about these bands on healthcare for
trans youth, and they have like a stock image of

(01:02:08):
like a surgeon with a scalpel, reinforcing the idea that
kids are getting surgery. And again they're not, you know,
And yes, there are a small number of kids who
have top surgery, who have a various kinds. There are
not kids getting genital surgery, and there are no kids
who are pre puberty getting surgery except for the intersex
infants who have forcibly who are forced in the surgery.
And I think we I want to stop there because

(01:02:29):
I think this is really really important kids. When Chris,
for what's difficult for a lot of people out there
is like, well, kids don't know what they want. So
let's just say transgender children are not having genital surgery. Period,
no want period period, Transgender children are not having genital surgery. Period.

(01:02:50):
That you can't do that to your eighteen We're talking
puberty blockers and possibly cross sex hormones when they are indicated,
and it's actually none of your business anyway. It should
be between the doctor and the parent. And like the
fact that we're like having conversations about children's bodies, it's
just deeply disturbing to me. It's like when you're a

(01:03:12):
trans kid, your dignity is just taken away, and I
we need we need to restore the dignity of trans people.
I mean we have it, but we Wow. This is why,
this is why it's hard for me to talk about
this because I always try to be the magnanimous, loving um,

(01:03:33):
you know, create the message so people can hear me,
Laverne Cox. But this is just fucked up. It is
utterly and completely upsetting. There were months when I was like,
I'm not going to talk about this. I'm not going
to talk about this. This is too much, and then
it just kept getting worse and worse and worse, and
no one else is talking about it, and here we
are and there's just no pushback. I am so pissed

(01:03:58):
that there's not like this huge cry that this is
happening right now. And I'm just I'm just I'm honestly
pissed the Democratic Party in general with not just this,
with like everything, like we have a Democratic president, Senate,
and House, and we can't get an Equality Act, we
can't get a fifteen dollar minimum wage, we can't pass
for the People Act, we can't do anything nothing. We're

(01:04:21):
not you know, we're not reforming the court. We we
are in a intractable, disastrous situation. Um. And I think, um,
you know the other thing that's always so painful about
this is like all trans people have tried, in one
way or another to not be trans, and you know
what you know and that has been one of the

(01:04:42):
most painful part of all of our lives. You do
all sorts of soul searching, a self inquiry of you know,
is this really who I am? We tried that it
does not work. The only way that we can live
is as ourselves, and so it is not a revelation
to us to think about not being trans. It is
us an impossibility. And so I think that that is

(01:05:02):
why in so many ways it's it's so incredibly painful
to feel and experience this mass movement to try to
take away our ability and prevent us from being who
we are UM. And there's just so much disinformation and
false narrative about this notion that it's harmful to be us.
Every single type of medicine like that gender affirmation medical

(01:05:24):
care that miners get CIS miners get pup people. Offers
are available to SIS people for precocious purity. Hormones are
taken all the time for for a range of endocrine
conditions and other reasons, some of which have everything to
do with you know, one's gender expression. So, for example,
CIS girls can take testosterone suppression UM if they have

(01:05:45):
you know, acne related to testosterone production. I mean, there's
a million ways that endochronologists will prescribe it, and it
is simply not harmful, and it is simply being banned
for only trans people because has the goal once again
to come back to it, is not to protect anyone,
it's to prevent us from being trans. That's that's a

(01:06:08):
really interesting point that you make about, um, puberty blockers
being prescribed to someone who has a precocious puberty who
identifies this this gender, right, So is there an equal
protection argument there um when it comes to that that
a this boy can get puberty blockers but trans girl can't.

(01:06:28):
Uh yeah, yeah in Arkansas for example, So we have
you know, in Arkansas, Um, we're the only state that's
actually passed a trans ault there. Man, we we sued
them and we've got an injunction of culiminary injunction. And
the judge completely could not understand the state's argument, why
can assist person have this if you if you're saying
that it's because it's unsafe, why is it safe for

(01:06:51):
the CIS minor and not for the transliter And then
you know, the judge asked the state, well, if you
read the transcript, it's it's astounding I'm not understanding, like
why and the six minor get testosterone suppression but the
trans miner cannot. Well, it's to treat a different condition,
but is it safe or is it not safe? And
that you know they went in circles. And in the
judge in our case that even under rational basis, even

(01:07:13):
under the most deference to the state, you cannot justify
this unequal treatment um. And the judge rule that we
were likely to prevaient on our equal protection claims um
on our fundamental rights of parents claims because these are
situations you need parental consent, so the state is overriding
what parents believe to be in the best interests of

(01:07:33):
their children. There is a long tradition in this country
of respecting the rights of parents to govern the safety
care and while being of their of their children. And
then also that we're likely to prevail on our First
Amendment claims because not only does a law ban the care,
it bans the referral for the care, which is obviously
an intrusion upon the speech of the doctors and the
rights of patients and parents to hear information. And so

(01:07:56):
now you know the law is not in place because
we have an injunction. It's an appealed um. So you know,
this is obviously going to be a long fight, but
it is such a clear equal protection violation in this case.
That is where we are so with the appeal is
going to go to an appellate court. Is which which court?
The A circuit? We're going to the A Circuit and

(01:08:17):
that if we have to, we're going, you know, to
the Supreme Court. Obviously, again they're coming back to the
structures that we're dealing with. We're not in a good
situation with the courts, We're not in a good situation
with state legislatures, and and we need drastic change. We
need drastic movements or change, you know, without an expanded
Supreme Court. We're seeing what's happening in the Supreme Court
just hoping that it works. With this court isn't gonna work.

(01:08:40):
What's really interesting for me is the equal protection piece,
the First Amendment piece of the parents right to governing
what they're doing with their children. So the law is
clearly on our side, but the law might not matter.
It's what it seems like what we're up against and
what you were year might be chased. Is that what

(01:09:02):
what I'm hearing. Yeah, the fear is, you know, the
law is political, law is whatever the judges say it is.
And there's so much misinformation and they are just taking
right wing talking points and repackaging them as constitutional arguments.
And I think we have incredible arguments. If there is
any justice or legitimacy to the law, then we should win.

(01:09:26):
We should win at every level. It should not even
be a close question. But you know, I I never
trust these courts, and I think if people are quiet,
if we're not making an uproar, then we will lose
because then the judges are just gonna reflexively do what
is natural to them, and that is to be scared
of trans people. But if we are engaged, if we

(01:09:46):
are countering this media narrative, if we are countering what
people are hearing over and over again about trans people,
then we can we can prevail. But it is not
simply about arguments made in court, and it's not simply
about us in that courtroom. It's about what all us
decide to do in the next year. Amazing. Thank you
for the fight that you u wage every single day. Chase.

(01:10:07):
I'm so grateful for you. I'm so grateful for your
work at the a c l U. And for the
a c l U, you are truly invaluable right now.
I like to in the podcast with the question that
comes from my therapy. My somatic therapy based in the
community resiliency model, and it's based on the idea of

(01:10:29):
both and when there's something challenging in our lives, that
there's some pain that we might have in our body,
somewhere in our body, it's neutral positives and we can
focus on that thing and then we can mitigate the
thing that's painful. It's about those things that we can
use to get us through. So, Chase Strangeo on this
day for you, what else is true? I mean, I

(01:10:52):
think this is such a good practice, And um, I
it is true today and it's true every day that
I have a life full of trans people and people
who love trans people. And even in these really horrible, depressing,
truly dystopian times, I go to bed each night feeling
loved and feeling like I have the tools to continue

(01:11:15):
to reflect on how be a better version of myself
the next day. And and that's really comforting to me.
And I did not always feel that way, um And
and so that is true and I I also for
all the backlash, for all the challenges. You know, we're
winning a lot still and and we've blocked so many
anti trans loss in court and I'm so proud of that,

(01:11:36):
and we will just keep fighting. Yeah, that's really beautiful.
If that's really beautiful, I love you so much, Chase,
and I just what's what's what's astounding to me is
how um, in so many ways, how unassuming you are.
But I think you're a legal giant. And I'm really

(01:11:57):
really happy you're in the world. Thank you for the war,
thank you for your deep, deep knowledge of all this stuff.
Appreciate you. I love Chase so much. He was my
date to the two thousand nineteen Emmys and I had

(01:12:20):
a purse made that said UM Supreme Court Title seven
October eight UM. If we lost that case, they would
have made it legal to virus someone for being lgbt Q.
And in a six three decision the lgbt Q plus
community we won that case. Chase was on the legal

(01:12:45):
team that argued that case. To the planets did not
survive to hear that verdict. U. And here we are
in with all of this, the slew of bills targeting
now trans kids. I'm I'm exhausted, and i am I'm

(01:13:08):
piste off, I'm pissed off, and I'm exhausted. These are
real people's lives that politicians are playing with, people who
who are worthy of love, people who are human beings.
My brother I was talking him about this the other
night because that was so anxious about this podcast, and
he said, either you believe people are worthy of dignity

(01:13:32):
and respect or you don't. And I just keep thinking
about that, and I just keep thinking about how the
reltless the dehumanizing of trans people is and the consequences
are dire. Twenty was the deadliest year on record for
trans people talking about trans murders. I want to be

(01:13:56):
in this space of focusing on the positive. There's so
much good in the world. I don't want to live
in the space of oppression and discrimination, and like, I
don't want to be there, but I also don't want
to be in denial about what's really happening and the
real people who are being affected. And I feel like
it's just devastating people who are still dying and people

(01:14:19):
who's still experiencing discrimination, and I mean, it'll go digging
away and oh, so um yeah. In the show notes,
there will be links to the audio that we have

(01:14:40):
referenced in the podcast, So go and listen to the
entire interviews. We encourage you to do that, and we
encourage you to step into and lean into your own
humanity and the humanity of everyone around you, no matter
how they identify. Thank you for listening to The Laverne

(01:15:07):
Cox Show. You must join me next week. From my
conversation with the one and only Valerie Spencer. She's a
dear friend and she is a unique, incredible empowering voice
and l g B t q I plus activism and spirituality.
She's the creator of the Holistic Empowerment Institute, an organization
which addresses empowerment for l g B, t q I

(01:15:30):
plus communities, and she is a full Kiki. Come join
us for a psycho spiritual shift hunting. Please rate, review
and subscribe and share with everyone you know. You can
find me on Instagram and Twitter at Laverne Cox and
on Facebook at Laverne Cox for re Until next time,

(01:15:52):
stay in the love. The Laverne Cox Show is a
production of Shonda Land Audio in partnership with I Heart Radio.
For more podcasts from Shondaland Audio, Visit the I Heart
Radio app, Apple podcast, or wherever you listen to your
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