Anti-Trans Bills Are Sweeping Across the US With Alarming Speed

The current legislative session has seen more than 350 anti-trans bills introduced in 36 states, a record.
Minnesotans hold a rally at the capitol to support trans kids, March 6 2022. (PhMichael Siluk/UCG/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

There are already twice as many anti-trans bills making their way through state legislatures across the U.S. as there were in 2022. 

The current legislative session has seen more than 350 anti-trans bills introduced in 36 states, according to new data released by Trans Legislation Tracker, an open-source site that tracks proposed and passed anti-trans legislation. That’s compared to about 170 in 2022, also a record-breaking year. 


In fact, 2023 is the fourth consecutive year marked by a record-breaking number of anti-trans bills.

“Year after year, anti-trans legislation has pushed the boundaries of demonizing trans people and limiting their visibility and agency,” Andrew Bales, the creator of Trans Legislation Tracker, said in a statement to VICE News. “The national legislation emerging this year should make it clear that this is not a limited attack—it’s a hateful vision for our country’s future.”

Anti-trans bills are being proposed at the state and national levels, from proposed legislation in Wyoming that would equate gender-affirming care to child abuse to a federal bill that would codify narrow biological definitions for “man” and “woman.”  

Since the 2010s, state lawmakers have introduced legislation that effectively shuns transgender and nonbinary people from public life, including sports bans that prevent trans students from playing on the teams that match their gender identities, bills that force people to use bathrooms that correspond to the gender they were assigned at birth. 

By many metrics, 2022 was one of the worst years yet, as lawmakers and conservative pundits doubled down on anti-trans rhetoric and policy-making, effectively mainstreaming the hate targeting trans people and their families. The consequences were stark: families with trans kids started moving out of their homes in states like Texas, Alabama, and Arkansas, and healthcare facilities that care for trans people, especially trans youth, have become the target of coordinated rightwing harassment campaigns that have resulted in bomb threats


Experts say this year could be even worse.

So far, three states—Utah, Tennessee, and South Dakota—have passed bans on gender-affirming care, and the South Dakota law included a clause that forces trans youth to de-transition. Oklahoma proposed a never-before-seen bill that would ban gender-affirming care for people under the age of 26, and a failed bill in North Dakota tried to introduce fines for teachers and other public sectors if they use trans peoples’ correct pronouns. 

“We’re seeing an escalating effort to erase trans people from public life,” Bales said. “The sheer number of bills is overwhelming, and they’re having a deep impact on the health and wellbeing of trans people—individuals who bring authenticity, courage, and joy to their communities,” Bales said. 

Gender-affirming care isn’t harmful; in fact, it’s life-saving. Numerous medical governing bodies, including the American Medical Association, American Psychological Association, the American Psychiatric Association, and the American Academy of Pediatrics, have endorsed gender-affirming care for minors. 

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