We knew it was coming. A summer of anti-trans attacks by Governor Ron DeSanitis, the Florida Board of Medicine, the Florida Department of Health AND the Florida Department of Education made the drop of the first of its kind anti-trans "Reverse WOKE Act" legislation easily predictable. Florida Coalition for Transgender Liberation members are certain that it is one of only a number of bills we will see in a Governor DeSantis inspire legislative attack this 2023 legislative session.
What does the bill do? Basically the bill attacks supportive companies who have gender affirming care in their insurance coverage by demanding that people who received gender affirming care through the companies insurance who want to detransition will have their medical care costs covered by the company no matter where that person lives, who they work for now, and where they receive the medical treatment.
Much like the "trans youth sports ban" this bill creates a solution to an almost non-existent problem. Its not like there are thousands of transgender people banging on company doors demanding they fund detransition. The 2015 Transgender Survey found that 8% of respondents reported some kind of detransition, and of that, 62% only did so temporarily due to social, financial or family pressures. Numbers drop down to 2% in Sweden. and less than .5% in the UK.
So why has "conservative champion" white-straight-man Senator Blaise Ingoglia filed the bill?
We can guess. Ingoglia wants to join the conservative haters that he runs with by intimidating and scaring corporations in Florida away from offering insurance coverage for gender affirming care for their gender non-conforming employees. Its a cheap trick. The legislature threatens companies with the bill to pay for detransition and the intimidation leads many of the companies to pull insurance coverage and civil rights support for one of the smallest most vulnerable populations in the US - trans folx.
We have been here before.
Gender affirming care has been standard practice since the 1930s but in the 1980s US federal agencies declared that gender affirming care was "experimental" to thwart financial coverage by health insurance companies after a flawed and unsupported report was released by Johns Hopkins University. It was the same then as it is now. If standard practice is suddenly "experimental" and "experimental" treatment is not covered by insurance than guess what? You guessed it. Through a back door you have just defunded insurance coverage for gender affirming care in the US without passing a single anti-civil rights law prohibiting it.
Who do you know can afford medical care in the US without insurance? No insurance means no, or very little, access to gender affirming care. A bill pushing companies to stop gender inclusive health insurance will ultimately end access to gender affirming care for most transgender and gender non-conforming people. The cuts and attacks on Planned Parenthood only make this worse. Reproductive health care clinics that offer low cost hormones and surgeries are under attack in Florida adding another layer to limit access. By chasing away access to care you chase away and/or kill transgender people. That's the purpose of the bill. To kill us or deny that we exist. That's the end purpose of all these bills.
To make things worse we get to watch the Florida House Health and Human Services Committee play host to eight haters promoting pseudo science in a committee promoted panel on "Gender Dysphoria" today (Feb 21, 2023) from 1-3 pm ET. There is no public comment available in the Capitol or online. If you cannot be at the Florida Capitol Building to throw shade with your eyes, you can join other trans activists and allies at the Florida Coalition for Transgender Liberation for a online watch party for the EVENT - See THIS LINK to register and get the Zoom link by email.
Lots to do and the first day of session hasn't even started yet. Join the trans-led movement at Florida Coalition for Transgender Liberation as an ally, or as a directly impacted person, and get more information on whats to come on SB 952 and other anti-trans bills in Florida. Learn how to organize against the attacks from a trans-led perspective, and how to get more involved with trans positive liberatory policy.