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A service for global professionals · Tuesday, January 31, 2023 · 614,454,978 Articles · 3+ Million Readers

I’m Proud of My Transgender Son. The Health Care He Needs Shouldn’t Be Up for Debate.

I have not always understood what it means to be transgender, and I did not always support transgender rights. But, as I watched my son Parker suffer, I learned more, and I keep trying every day to understand what he goes through. Seeing firsthand the benefits of gender-affirming healthcare for Parker has opened my eyes to see that this is definitely the right thing.

I wish I could say that my little dude has spent his entire life being comfortable in his own skin, but that is just not true for Parker. Before he started his gender-affirming medical care, Parker was depressed, anxious, and withdrawn. I worried for his safety. He wore 5 sports bras to cover his body and couldn’t bear to see himself in the mirror after a shower.

Like all of us, he just wants to look in the mirror and see the person that he is on the inside staring back at him so he can go about his day. We all want our kids to be happy and live their best, most productive lives, and this ban would really put up a roadblock for that to happen for Parker.

Gender-affirming health care has helped Parker become the happy, healthy, confident guy he is today. Now he’s funny, outgoing, and always ready to face the day. He loves being active in choir, with his friends, and volunteering in our community. His transformation has been amazing to watch. That’s what is so hard about other people trying to take away the medical care that has enabled him to be his best self. I am worried all the progress Parker has made could be undone.

This law does not protect kids. It is not what is best for teens, or for Arkansas. In our amazing community we are very supported — this is our shelter. If we are forced to leave our shelter for the unknown in another state, that’s the hardest part of this whole thing. If we go somewhere else, he will lose the safety and support of the community that we have here. This is Parker’s home. Parker should not have to leave his home to get his health care.

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