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Democrat stands up for his trans son by calling out Republican “ghouls” on anti-trans bills

Democrat stands up for his trans son by calling out Republican “ghouls” on anti-trans bills
Wisconsin state Representative Ryan Clancy Photo: Screenshot

Three anti-trans bills introduced by Republicans in the Wisconsin legislature last week met massive resistance as witnesses opposed to the legislation overwhelmed marathon hearings, and one father of a transgender child is doing what he can to stop them.

The three bills under consideration include a ban on transgender girls participating in K-12 sports, another banning transgender athletes in college sports, and a third prohibiting gender-affirming care for transgender youth.

State Rep. Ryan Clancy (D) was among several lawmakers with trans family members who spoke in opposition to the slate of hate.

He didn’t mince words.

“The idea that the science is not settled on this is frankly bulls**t,” Clancy told fellow lawmakers considering the ban on gender-affirming care for minors.

The rep said his son coming out inspired many feelings, including joy, “because we knew that he would be able to flourish and thrive in a way that he wouldn’t have been able to had he not come out as trans.”

But the other was fear, Clancy said, because he knew “that a small, angry, vile pocket of our community hates trans folks and hates trans kids.”

“I want to be clear. Trans kids aren’t considering or attempting suicide because of who they are, but because of who we are in this building right now,” he said.

“The authors of this garbage are responsible for trans suicides, for trans attempted suicides. It isn’t the kids and their identities. It’s a society in which actual adults sit down in a room and put pen to paper to try to codify their hatred to try to mask their intolerance as concern and to cover their ignorance with a thin veneer of junk science.”

“I would call the author’s ghouls and empty husks of people,” Clancy added, “but I won’t because the authors of this legislation are not in this building today. There are across the U.S.”

Clancy was referencing the Alliance Defending Freedom, the anti-trans advocacy group responsible for drafting anti-trans bills introduced in legislatures across the country.

“They’re not evil,” Clancy said of the authors using ADF’s anti-trans template. “They are at best plagiarists.”

“So I’m asking you to drop the act. Speak plainly. Stop copying and pasting this legislation and the talking points from other states and tell it like it is. You are so challenged by the mere existence of trans kids that your own fragile sense of self is threatened.

“Tell us that rather than grappling with your own insecurities you’d rather shut kids up and push them back into the corners. Tell us the kids don’t deserve to be listened to because you’re deeply and personally afraid of what they’re saying. Gender-affirming care saves lives. This legislation endangers them. The cowards with their names on it endanger our children. You should be ashamed.”

Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers (D) shared Clancy’s disdain for the three bills and vowed in an appearance with trans advocates at the capital to veto any bill that would hurt the LGBTQ community. 

“We’re going to veto every one of them,” Evers said to cheers and applause. 

“My message to LGBTQ folks — especially our trans kids — is this: you are welcome, you are wanted, and you belong here,” Evers wrote on social media last week. “And I’ll veto any bill that makes Wisconsin a less welcoming, less inclusive, and less safe place for you to be who you are.”

Currently, 22 states have a ban on gender-affirming care for minors. Data from the Human Rights Campaign shows that roughly a third of all transgender youth across the country live in a state that bans gender-affirming care.

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