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Jon Stewart explains why gender-affirming care for transgender kids matters and it's worth a listen

Stewart explains that anti-trans legislation has risen by 800% since 2018.

Jon Stewart explains why gender-affirming care for transgender kids matters and it's worth a listen
Cover Image Source: Twitter/@TheProblem

The comedian Jon Stewart received a shower of praise on Twitter on Friday following a tweet sharing a preview of the upcoming season of his talk show "The Problem with Jon Stewart." The comedian has taken on the issue of gender justice in the latest installment, with guests on the episode that include parents of trans kids, endocrinologists and Republican Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge.



 

 

In an especially engaging now-viral clip of the show, the talk show host discusses with Rutledge about her state's prohibition on gender-affirming healthcare for younger transgender individuals, which he says "overrides" the guidelines made by many medical professionals. Stewart is seen asking Rutledge to defend her state's decision to override something medical professionals have explicitly advised against. Rutledge says she can't remember the medical association's name, but she will get the documents across to Stewart.  At one point, Rutledge says that almost 98% of those with gender dysphoria “can move past that without medication.” Stewart responds, telling her the stats were inaccurate. 

EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND - SEPTEMBER 02: Trans Rights activists hold a counter demonstration next to a woman’s rights demo organised by Women Wont Wheesht on September 02, 2021 in Edinburgh, Scotland. Recent guidelines issued by the National Records of Scotland say that people indicate male or female in Scotland's 2022 census based on how they identify themselves, rather than according to their birth certificate or legal status. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND - SEPTEMBER 02: Trans Rights activists hold a counter demonstration next to a woman’s rights demo organised by Women Wont Wheesht on September 02, 2021 in Edinburgh, Scotland. Recent guidelines issued by the National Records of Scotland say that people indicate male or female in Scotland's 2022 census based on how they identify themselves, rather than according to their birth certificate or legal status. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

 

When Rutledge states that gender dysphoria doesn't harm children, Stewart says, "I've got bad news for you. Parents with children who have gender dysphoria have lost children, to suicide and depression, it's acute." Stewart states that many studies have shown that children with gender dysphoria who get to access gender affirming care have better mental health outcomes. A study from Trevor Project proves that to be true.



 

 

In the clip, Stewart yet again asks Rutledge to reveal which medical experts they spoke to before passing the law and she says she cannot recollect. The interview will be featured in the hour-long premiere of Season 2, which Apple made free to viewers following all the praise the episode is getting. Stewart underlines the importance of the subject of gender at the start of the episode, saying, “Whatever discomfort we may feel in the changing norms of reality, myself included, it is no match for the discomfort and fear felt by those seeking acceptance.” Stewart emphasizes the increase in anti-trans legislation, explaining that anti-trans legislation risen by 800% since 2018.



 

 

“If my daughter or my son came to me in agony, and I knew there was a program that I could get them into that had positive effects on their mental health, I would swim across rivers and climb mountains and tunnel through whatever I needed to get to save that child’s life. And my guess is you’d do the same,” the comedian says, urging people to empathize with and understand why trans rights are important.



 

 

Later in the episode, guest Keisha Michaels shared her experience as a parent of a trans child, “Once we actually affirmed this child, she’s actually been fine. She’s on her phone too much. That’s her biggest problem. Once she had the gender-affirming care of her parents – she blossomed.” She shared, “Well, it’s interesting that folks might say that these are woke parents ‘cause my husband and I weren’t really woke about this. We had a child who was telling us that they – that, you know, she’s been a girl her whole life, and we were not really listening. So I am not sure how woke we were….I kind of wish we were more woke.” Stewart is being applauded for the clip, with many journalists and prominent public figures commending him on being prepared with facts to counter the misinformation put forth by Rutledge. 



 

 



 

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