Trump Tried to Out-Transphobe DeSantis With Proposed Trans Youth Health Care Ban

With competition already boiling over the 2024 Republican presidential primary, former President Donald Trump released a bizarre video Tuesday declaring he would systematically remove transgender rights from U.S. law and aggressively target doctors who provide care for trans youth

The video, posted to Trump’s personal social network Truth Social (and its hosting service, the far-right video platform Rumble), reiterates many of the policies and anti-trans rhetoric that have become popular among Republicans over the past several years. Trump repeatedly calls gender-affirming care for youth “chemical, physical, and emotional mutilation” in the video, declaring that he will pressure Congress to ban such care for minors nationwide if elected. Medical providers who do offer such care would face “severe consequences” including civil charges and loss of federal funding.

Trump also stated he would ban any government agency from promoting “the concept of sex and gender transition at any age,” especially in schools. Instead, he continued, his Department of Education would push for “positive education about the nuclear family,” and try to pass a federal law declaring “the only genders recognized by the United States government are male and female, and they are assigned at birth.”

Though Trump’s proposals are horrifying to contemplate in theory and in practice, what’s most striking about the video is how little the former president seems to understand anything he’s saying. As is typical, Trump makes frequent attempts to riff on his prepared statement, but ends up with gibberish; towards the end, he declares being trans “a concept that was never heard of in all of human history” until a few years ago — a statement which, like so many other Trump lies, is immediately disproven by even the most cursory fact-check.

Many of Trump’s proposals have already been featured in Republican anti-trans legislation, which has rapidly proliferated across the U.S. in the last two years. In 2022, more than 300 such bills were introduced in 36 states, and 2023 has already seen new bans on gender-affirming care and school discussion of trans identities introduced in several states like IndianaMississippi, and Arizona. Having launched his 2024 campaign with some comparatively tame events last weekend, Trump’s sprawling list of anti-trans policies seems like an obvious attempt to catch up to the increasingly radical pack — especially Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, his breakout political rival, who surfed to reelection last year on the back of anti-trans propaganda.

Meanwhile, Trump is still under investigation for decades of alleged crimes in what feels like an infinite list of jurisdictions. Former Trump Organization executive Jeffrey McConney is scheduled to appear before a New York court on Thursday to testify about Trump’s alleged hush-money scheme to pay off adult film star Stormy Daniels ahead of the 2016 presidential election. On Wednesday, Trump’s former legal counsel Michael Cohen told CNN he had turned over his cell phones to the Manhattan prosecutors pursuing the case.

“Donald cannot keep track of the lies that he…

Read More: Trump Tried to Out-Transphobe DeSantis With Proposed Trans Youth Health Care Ban

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