© 2024 WYSO
Our Community. Our Nation. Our World.
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

After Ohio ban on gender-affirming care, Dayton trans rights activists keep affected youth and families informed

Six adults sit on chairs on a stage for a panel about a ban on gender-affirming care for children in Ohio.
Ngozi Cole
During a community event at Dayton Metro Library, reps from ACLU Ohio, Equitas and Trans Allies of Ohio among others, shared information on how this ruling affects transgender youth–and how to get help.

Local trans rights activists are working to reach out to youth and families following recent restrictions on gender-affirming care.

At a community event last week, support groups including Trans Allies of Ohio and Equitas provided information on the recent rulings and how local families can get support.

Gender-affirming care is described by medical authorities as life-saving health care for all age-groups of transgender people. This care can include a range of social, psychological, behavioral, and medical interventions designed to support and affirm an individual’s gender identity when it conflicts with the gender they were assigned at birth.

In January, Ohio passed a law that restricts medical care for transgender minors and bans transgender girls from women’s sports.

Since then, local advocacy groups, like PFLAG Dayton and the Greater Dayton LGBTQ Center, say they have been getting calls from families with transgender kids about what to do next.

“The anxiety that our kids are facing because they're not comfortable in their own bodies, and now they're not being afforded the right to find that way, to be comfortable in their body,” said Karen Shirk, the president of PFLAG Dayton. “So parents are afraid. Kids are afraid. We're all afraid. We just want the war on our community to stop.”

What's changed

In January, the Ohio Senate voted to override Gov. Mike DeWine’s veto of a bill that bans gender-affirming care for transgender and gender-nonconforming children in Ohio.

  • This includes puberty blockers, hormone therapy and surgery.
  • Physicians are also required to report certain medical information about their trans patients to the Ohio Department of Health.
  • The law in Ohio makes an exception for anyone under the age of 18 already receiving care prior to when the law goes into effect.
  • The law also bans transgender girls from women’s sports.
  • The law will take effect on April 23.

Currently, 23 states have enacted laws and or policies restricting gender-affirming care.
Nicky Walvoord, a local trans rights activist who attended the town hall, said it is important for everyone to keep an eye out on legislative rules regarding transgender rights.

“ It's important to help educate people too, because that's how democracy works as a well-educated population, actually taking steps to educate themselves so they can vote appropriately,” said Walvoord. “It's really a matter of life and death for us.”

The ACLU of Ohio has announced it is filinga lawsuit to halt the ban.

Ngozi Cole is the Business and Economics Reporter for WYSO. She graduated with honors from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism in New York and is a 2022 Pulitzer Center Post-Graduate Reporting Fellow. Ngozi is from Freetown, Sierra Leone.