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Elliot Page speaks out against 'upsetting, cruel, and exhausting' anti-trans bills

"Call your representatives. Tell them to oppose legislation that discriminates against us. Tell them our access to health care is an inalienable human right. Tell them to let trans kids play sports," the actor urged his fans.

Elliot Page speaks out against 'upsetting, cruel, and exhausting' anti-trans bills
Cover Image Source: Instagram/Elliot Page

Actor Elliot Page is once again speaking out against the deluge of anti-trans bills and legislation being considered or passing in state legislatures across the country. According to CNN, 2021 has been a record-breaking year for anti-transgender legislation with thirty-three states introducing over 100 such bills. The bills—which aim to curb the rights of transgender people—propose a variety of restrictions including banning trans athletes from female sports teams, banning puberty blockers for trans kids, and even classifying parents who support their trans children as "child abusers."

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Sharing a photo of him holding a "protect trans kids" sign on Instagram, Page wrote: "As I watch the movement of these bills attacking trans youth across the US, especially this week in Florida, Alabama, Texas, and North Dakota, I am thinking of my trans siblings and the collective pain that our community must endure to battle again and again for our right to exist. These bills are upsetting, cruel, and exhausting. Call your representatives. Tell them to oppose legislation that discriminates against us. Tell them our access to health care is an inalienable human right. Tell them to let trans kids play sports. Tell them that #TransPeopleBelong – we always have, and we always will."

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Earlier this month, Arkansas became the first US state to outlaw gender-affirming medical treatments or surgery for minors after its House of Representatives voted 71 to 24 to override a veto by Governor Asa Hutchinson. According to Reuters, the law threatens healthcare professionals who provide puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones, or gender-affirming surgery to minors with losing their medical license and leave them vulnerable to lawsuits from individuals who later regret their procedures. At least 16 other states are currently considering similar legislation which has been severely criticized by transgender advocates who warn that cutting off access to badly needed care to adolescents would inevitably lead to more suicides.

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Despite being mostly quiet on social media since coming out as transgender in December, Page has used his visibility to raise awareness about crimes and legislative actions that are hurting the LGBTQIAP+ community. "My privilege has allowed me to have resources to get through and to be where I am today," they said in their first interview since coming out, "and of course I want to use that privilege and platform to help in the ways I can." Addressing the political attacks on trans people — which carry the subtext that trans people are mistaken about who they are — Page said: "We know who we are. People cling to these firm ideas [about gender] because it makes people feel safe. But if we could just celebrate all the wonderful complexities of people, the world would be such a better place."

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The Oscar-nominated actor, who made history as the first-ever trans man to appear on the cover of Time Magazine, said in the March interview that despite facing anti-trans sentiments from many, he feels a deep sense of responsibility to share his truth. "Extremely influential people are spreading these myths and damaging rhetoric—every day you're seeing our existence debated," they said. "Transgender people are so very real." Page often uses his nearly 5 million-strong Instagram following to raise awareness about the discrimination transgender individuals face. "With deep respect for those who came before me, gratitude for those who have supported me & great concern for the generation of trans youth we must all protect, please join me and decry anti-trans legislation, hate & discrimination in all its forms," he wrote in one post.

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