The Hole the GOP Keeps Digging on Abortion

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Andy Slavitt, Jo Yurcaba, Shon Faye

Andy Slavitt  00:18

This is IN THE BUBBLE with Andy Slavitt. Welcome and take a personal prerogative and wish happy birthday to my son Caleb, who should be turning 25 today. Now, if only Caleb listened to the show, he would know he got a birthday greeting, but maybe someone will pass it along and tell him. So why? Why do people get scapegoated stereotyped picked on not just in our society, but in every society throughout the ages, there is this track record of taking the most marginalized groups, those leads prepared to defend themselves so as to delete political power and punching down on them aggressively. And that seems to be the strategy when it comes to one of the most marginalized groups in the country today. And that’s the transgender community. I think we need to look at this question, because we’d be having the same episode 70 years ago, it would be about civil rights. It would be why are people getting punched down? Who are black? Why are people who are getting punched down? Who are Intermarine? Why are people getting punched down? Who are gay? Why are people getting punched down? Who are Jewish? Why are people getting punched on that or anything except the majority. And transgender community is one of the last places where it is absolutely fundamentally acceptable in our society, for a politician to get on TV and say this. That was Marjorie Taylor Greene. Really, I don’t know why I bother to quote her, give her any airtime. But the reason I do is because it’s still okay. In the light of day with microphones in your face, to profess hate and discrimination against people who are transgender. And the banner that all this flies under is always the same. We must protect our children, protect our youth. That phrase is right up there with election integrity, and religious freedom as things that people say to justify just about any form of action that is either bigoted, anti-democratic, and allows us to hate people. My Religion says it’s okay. Do you buy it? I don’t buy it. How bad is it? There are somewhere between 400 and 1000 bills and state legislators this year, this year that had been proposed to take rights away from transgendered people, whether it’s things like prohibiting them from using their desired bathroom, to their ability to play sports on a team that makes more sense for them, to people’s inability to get medical care, and the list goes on and on. This is not a new thing, but it is a big thing. And it is happening in massive numbers. Some of these bills are passing, many of them are just message bills. And it wouldn’t surprise you to know that this all comes from the same place. Is this a good political strategy is punching down a good political strategy? Well, in the face of taking away women’s reproductive rights as being in the strategy for so long. This is where we’re headed next. Does it have resonance? Will it ever have resonance? Political impact? That’s what we’re going to talk about today. Shon Faye is joining me. Shon is an editor at […] and her writing has been published in The Guardian. The independent. Vice. you will know John from her British accent. She wrote a book called the transgender issue, trans justice is justice for all. And Sharon will mention over the course of the conversation didn’t. She’s a member of the transgender community herself. I find John to be amazing and brilliant. And I think you’re really, really going to enjoy listening Shine and my other guests today. I also just loved, Jo Yurcaba is a reporter for NBC out. It’s the LGBTQ plus section of NBC News digital. And they cover any news that are related to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer community, and had been really focused on covering the anti-transgender legislation. This is going to be a great episode, we’re gonna get into these issues. I’m going to tell you right now that I am going to ask a couple questions that are uncomfortable. Because I think that’s the best way to learn. And I will applaud these two guests for handling the uncomfortable questions, as well as they do the ones that are easier to answer. So with that, here we go.

Andy Slavitt  06:19

Jo, Shon. Welcome to both to the bubble.

Andy Slavitt  06:25

We’ll start with you, Jo. Well, it seems like there’s an awful lot, awful lot of bills targeting the transgender population. Is it my imagination?

Jo Yurcaba  06:37

It’s not your imagination. Conservative estimates put it at least 450 bills targeting LGBTQ people so far this year, higher estimates, say at least 600. And this is, you know, more than double what we saw at this point last year.

Andy Slavitt  06:54

Last I checked, we only have 50 states, right? And I’m guessing that these are concentrated not in every state, but in some smaller number of states. So are these states doing anything except putting up anti-trans bills? They have time for anything else?

Jo Yurcaba  07:07

It’s a good question. Yeah. I mean, I know the what’s interesting about that is actually in some of the states where some Democratic lawmakers are trying to block these bills, they filibustered to stop any bills from passing in order to stop the trans bill. So for example, I think it’s Nebraska where no bill has passed yet because a lawmaker has been filibustering nonstop. So they’re having trouble passing anything in some states.

Andy Slavitt  07:31

Can you give us a flavor for some that have passed? And then those that are just being proposed?

Jo Yurcaba  07:37

Sure. Yeah. So far, in the last three years, we’ve had 20 states enact laws that ban transgender student athletes from playing sports on the school sports teams that aligned with their gender identities. And I think so far this year, we have four, it’s either 44 or 46. States that have introduced similar bills, we have the sports bills, and then we have 14 states that have restricted gender affirming care, which includes puberty blockers, hormone therapy and surgery for minors. Some states like Oklahoma are attempting to take that a step further, and even banned care for adults under 26. And then we have the bills like what we recently saw take effect in Tennessee, people are referring to them as drag bands or drag bills. And they classify drag performances as adult oriented performances or adult cabarets, and basically make it a misdemeanor to perform as a male or female impersonator in front of a minor in a public space. And some people fear that those bills could be used to target trans people who are just, for example, like going out to perform karaoke. And then you have bills like Florida’s don’t say, gay bill, which prohibits the instruction of sexual orientation or gender identity in grades K through three. But the state is now trying to expand that to K through 8th grade and have a language that would allow them to also apply it through 9th to 12th grade. And then we have bathroom bills are seeing a resurgence now, for both students and just trans people generally, who go to public places. So we’re really seeing bills that run the gamut here.

Andy Slavitt  09:21

So, to summarize, we have bills, banning gender affirming care, including hormone blockers, we have bills, Title Nine targeting kids ability to play sports, we have bathroom bills, we have education bills, and what can be taught religious liberty bills. So people don’t have to, you know, operate or take care of people because their religion prevents them from doing so. And on and on and on. Feels like a coordinated effort. Does it sound like a coordinated effort to you is there someone behind this? Who’s driving all this? It doesn’t feel this doesn’t feel organic to me.

Jo Yurcaba  09:59

It’s definitely not organic. Here in the US I, the example I always give is the gender affirming care bans, they usually all have the same or a similar name, the Save adolescents from experimentation act. And that’s because most of these bills were fed to lawmakers from conservative religious groups like the Alliance Defending Freedom. So it’s definitely part of a conservative or a general, you know, movement happening from these conservative religious groups.

Andy Slavitt  10:28

Are they defending freedom? Really? Are they defending freedom? Or are they opposing a freedom? We’ll come back to that. Shon, why, why are they doing this? Why is this such a major coordinated effort right now?

Shon Faye  10:42

Because I think there is a wider backlash on bodily autonomy for everyone, particularly for its concurrent with an attack on bodily autonomy for all women. I think just as this is coordinated with regards to different states of the US, and indeed beyond the US, an attack on trans people that comes at the same time as an attack on the reproductive rights of women and anyone with a uterus. And I think it’s also connected to a very calculated and long game right wing backlash to advances in LGBTQ plus equality, particularly in the US context, right marriage equality, I think the Christian right in particular, felt that they had lost that fight in a certain way, but, and perhaps LGBTQ plus groups, at times thought that that fight had been one. But I think what we’re seeing is that some of these groups are, are able to regroup and re strategize. And there is sufficient evidence I write about in my book that, as Joe mentioned, like groups like the Alliance Defending Freedom, the Heritage Foundation, and various right wing conferences that, you know, on the record, there are discussions of tactics like for example, recognizing that trans people of the LGBTQ plus umbrella are one of the smaller minorities within a minority, newer to like widespread visibility, less political gains made, and therefore more easily attacked as a sort of weak link.

Andy Slavitt  12:20

That’s really interesting. I hadn’t I hadn’t thought of that, as I’m interested in this banner, this banner that they’re flying, which is to protect our children banner. Are these acts protecting children, in what way? Or are they harming children? If so, in what way.

Andy Slavitt  12:37

Alright, let’s take a break. And we’ll come back and talk about how all this is affecting transgender kids from fear to go to the bathroom and school to questions of their own life and death. We’ll be right back. Jo, what about transgender youth? How are they impacted? What do we know about how kids, our own kids, the kids of our friends, families, loved ones are impacted by this rhetoric. This type of legislation this type of really let’s just call it what it is. State condone hate, right state kid to me at state condone hate. How does this affect a young person who’s transgender or gender fluid?

Shon Faye  12:37

if I could just offer an opinion on that I think one of the frameworks I found helpful to understand this is like moral panic theory, which is like a sociological idea, that throughout history that there have been various moral panics used to target minorities, where you essentially take a small minority, probably the most ancient example of it in a kind of, I don’t know, the history of certainly Western Europe, for example, would be anti-Semitism is the you take a group that is present within society, but has actually very little power, and spread kind of a mythology about them that they actually secretly have much more power than they do. And that has been adapted for various ethnic religious, cultural minorities, including gay people in the 80s and 90s. And one of the ways in which you demonize that group and make people feel that they are the majority feel like they might be under threat is to suggest that that group is recruiting the young that they’re adding to the numbers and that they are preying upon or seducing the young. And again, this is something that is very anti LGBT generally arguments or homophobic argument, it was very much used to create panics about the gay agenda or the gay lobby in schools in the 80s and 90s. So I think the point here is that protection of children, it can be a bit of a smokescreen, because of course everyone believes in safeguarding protecting children. And it sounds like quite an honorable goal. However, it can be utilized rhetorically for some pretty reactionary measures. And what we know with LGBTQ plus young people is that unfortunately, some of the people who you need just need to ask any LGBTQ person, any trans person, sometimes the people that they need protecting from are their educators, all of their family members in some cases are their ministers are their religious leaders? And that’s unfortunately, a reality for too many trans young people. But that’s why I think it’s worth saying that the targeting for children is, is it a cynical ploy. And ultimately, I think as the bill in Oklahoma, points to in the US. The intention is not to stop with children. It’s an attack on trans existence, full stop. But children seem to be I think rhetorically the most useful way To try and turn public sentiment against a very small minority with very little power realistically.

Jo Yurcaba  16:17

Yeah, I’ve spoken with dozens of trans young people, especially in these states like Texas and Arkansas, Alabama, which have are all making efforts to restrict care. And I mean, the it affects them in so many ways to take away their health care obviously would force them to stop getting health care that many of them have has said saved their lives. But it has even just talking about this legislation has mental health impacts. The most recent data we have from the Trevor Project, which is a LGBTQ youth suicide prevention group, found that 86% of transgender and non-binary youth said recent debates around anti-trans builds have negatively impacted their mental health. And as a result of these policies and debates in the last year, 45% of trans youth experienced cyberbullying. So I mean, it has real impacts on their lives, in terms of the policies to when they have been enacted. Trans young people have told me bathroom policies, for example, make them afraid to use the bathroom at all, they already are more likely to face bullying in bathrooms. When those policies are enacted, often they have to go to a teacher’s restaurant, which is far away. And that singles them out puts a target on their backs, they’ve told me so they’ll avoid going to the restroom at school the entire day. So this has a variety of impacts that even for adults who aren’t necessarily affected by gender affirming care bands, or the sports bands, they’re affected as well. I spoke to a mother just last week, whose trans son died by suicide last year because of the debate around the legislation happening in Texas. And when he heard that, Texas is CPS was investigating the parents of trans kids. And he had texted her mom look that they’re investigating people, even if he was 19 at the time or going on 19 and was afraid that he his mom could potentially be investigated, even though he was 19. So this has far reaching impacts.

Andy Slavitt  18:14

Yeah, I mean, I have a few friends that have transgender children. And they find it difficult to allow them to see the news because explaining to them that people there are people in power, who hate you, is impossible. And they don’t live in one of the states. So it’s not exclusive to the States. It’s just these things are in the general water. I think this other thing about this particular children thing, and I’m a little older. So I will give you a little bit even more history perspective. This old but in 1954, Brown versus Board of Education came out requiring schools to be integrated. And what was the opposition to integrating Black children and white children? Well, we have to protect our kids. Going back even further. What was the argument against single women single moms, we have to protect our kids. Intermarriage, gay rights, everything. And that banner, that particular kid’s banner, don’t be fooled by it. Never be fooled by it. The minute I hear protect our children, is the minute I smell fire. Feels like the oldest trick in the book. Yeah,

Jo Yurcaba  19:29

I wrote a story about Florida how DeSantis this administration is using the Department of Business and regulation to investigate or try to take liquor licenses from places that host drag shows. And in all of those complaints against those businesses. He cites a 1947 Florida Supreme Court case that found that male or female impersonators are constitute a public nuisance. And if you look in when I got the documents in that case, and what was really interesting is it was used to shut down a popular female impersonator Club in 1947. And it was shut down by a man who was running for sheriff and he was trying to like get attention for his campaign. And the way he shut it down was by painting the people who went to the club as, quote perverts and phonies, and pedophiles. And so even back then they were painting this, you know, what would become what we call drag as something that was preying on children?

Andy Slavitt  20:32

Well, one of our elected politicians today in 2023, went on 60 minutes and said, the Democratic party is a party of pedophiles. I mean, I think it’s less acceptable, I don’t know, you studied this a lot more. Both of you, which I’ll put a two first is like, it feels like it’s less acceptable today to discriminate against lesbian and gay people, openly and outwardly. But it feels like, you know, the way to discriminate against them is to go open season on the trans population. And to me, at least I read, this doesn’t fool me for a minute. I think when they say, the trans population, what they’re really saying is anybody that’s different from the way that that we want things to be. What’s your interpretation of more of what’s behind some of this rhetoric than meets the eye?

Shon Faye  21:26

I mean, it’s an interesting one, because you’re asking me, as you said, at the beginning, I’m a British person, right. So we also have an anti-trans backlash in the UK, where I live and where I’m from. And what’s interesting is, it’s somewhat different right to the US version, because in the US, you have a slightly more clear cut situation, in which the people who are anti-trans are right wing, they’re aligned with, for example, Trump, etc. There’s the far right of the Republican Party. Here. transphobia has much more of a liberal glass, it’s a much more acceptable position in Liberal spaces, as well as right wing spaces. And one of the very sort of strong rhetorical points in our sort of center, right media in the UK, is attempting to cause division within the LGBT community between gay people and lesbians, and trans people. So we are actually trans people, for example, are accused of essentially trying to recruit gay children in order to make them that we want gay children to become straight trans adults, which, when you actually just think about it is insane. I can say that as a trans woman that like came out as gay teenager, gay boy teenager first, I can tell you that no, no one looks at being a trans woman versus being a gay man. And it’s like, I’ll pick a trans woman things like that sounds like easier, because I’ll be straight. But that is that you know that there have been groups that have been mysteriously quite well funded in the UK to promote that kind of division, and to claim to protect cisgender, non-trans LGB people from trans people. So there’s a subtle difference there. But I think it’s a testing ground. And I think a lot of these anti-trans forces globally are actually kind of linked. And I don’t mean that in a tinfoil that way, I think there’s a lot of funding streams between them. I think there’s a lot of experimentation about what would work in the same way that when Ireland in 2018 had a referendum on abortion, according to the Irish constitution, there was, you know, significant evidence that right wing Christian Right US groups, were using Ireland’s public debate on abortion as a testing ground to see what would fly with the Irish public in order to see what they could bring back home to the US. I believe that there’s a lot of that going on with anti-trans arguments. And of course, Republican Christian Right Republicans don’t like gay people either. But at the moment, it’s a lot. I think it’s a lot easier to target trans people. And of course, there is a slow creep here, because really, these people don’t distinguish between a trans woman and a gay man in drag, and a butch lesbian and a trans man, they basically see every member of the LGBT community as agenda free current agenda, outlaw in some way when you get to it, because it’s they have highly patriarchal beliefs about gender roles. I think it’s also worth saying as well as these right wing groups that Jo mentioned earlier, is that I think it’s because you mentioned about this idea about the Democrats being a party of pedophiles or whatever. Forgive me for bringing up Qanon. But I think that there are some elements of anti-trans sentiment online that are highly analogous to something like Qanon or anti Vax sentiment. There are there are very committed obsessive people across social media, in online forums, whether that’s 4chan, whether that’s some British SoSAFE feminist forums, where it has descended into quite an obsessive online movement that is really engaging quite a lot of conspiracy theory, and certainly it might have a focus on trans people, but there are a lot of links to other deeply paranoid movements.

Andy Slavitt  25:05

All right, let me stop, take one more break, and come back and talk about how young people are pushing back. And how all of us can too. I want to talk about not so much the things that are taking hold in that sort of very conservative, politically driven, bigoted mindset. But I want to challenge both of you to on the ideas that people who are not, you know, far right or religious, but are people who are sympathetic to some of the things that they hear, like playing sports? You know, people will say, well, that’s a complicated issue, but et cetera, et cetera. So I want I would love to get your reaction to that, Jo. Is it a complicated issue? Or is it a really clear cut rights issue? How do you think that’s landing with the public?

Jo Yurcaba  26:29

Yeah, I think it definitely depends on who you ask. I do. I know that with public opinion polls on the trans athletes debate, in particular, what we’ve seen is that what will affect it is how the question is phrased, you know about how whether someone’s supports trans women, for example, competing with women will affect how someone answers the question versus if you just ask, do you support trans students or trans youth being able to play on the sports teams that they want to play on? What also affects it is if people receive information after the fact if you ask them the question, and then offer more information that will affect how they respond to the poll. So it seems like a lot of what’s happening with the debate over trans athletes via people just don’t have a lot of information.

Andy Slavitt  27:19

So what’s the information? What’s the information that if you add persuades people?

Jo Yurcaba  27:23

If you tell them you know that what we’re really talking about here is kids playing on sports teams at school, we’re not talking about highly elite levels of competition, then most people support that they support trans students in K through 12. schools to be able to play on the sports teams they want to play on. It gets harder when you talk about college level sports, because we had last year, Lea Thomas, the University of Pennsylvania swimmer who broke a number of records at a meet in December of last year, and was used kind of as like the poster child of the movement to ban trans athletes. And that was in part because people you know, when you start talking about older trans athletes, and like men, and you get into medical transition, there are like complicated scientific aspects there. But there still is no, there isn’t a lot of really strong research that shows that trans women overall have a significant advantage. Over cisgender women, there have only been like a very limited number of studies, when you give people that information, then they’re also much more likely to support allowing trans athletes to play on the teams they want to.

Andy Slavitt  28:36

Got it. Let me take another one, which is gender affirming care. For Kids. I don’t know what the polling says. But I would imagine that there are a number of people out there who would say, I am completely supportive of trans people and trans rights. But I wonder whether or not there’s an age at which we are to allow people to get to before they make this type of decision. Very sensitive issue, very sensitive question. But I do wonder if this is an argument that resonates with the public, you know, in spite of, as you said, when people examine it closer, they come to some type of different conclusions.

Shon Faye  29:19

I mean, I will allow Joe to share as well as second because I’d be interested to know their view. But for my part, I think it does resonate with people. I think the reason being one is because trans people is such a small minority. The concept of trans nurse being trans is unfamiliar to many people and trans adults are unfortunately for many people are sort of seemingly a new thing. And so not knowing having that personal knowledge of trans people trans lives, I think is a huge issue here. Because one of the things that people won’t understand the context of this is the life inhibiting and impairing distress that really acute forms of gender dysphoria can cause I think also what’s difficult about this conversation is that everyone loves in media. Even in discussions like this, it’s very easy to slip into talking into huge generalizations. Whereas I think for gender related care for where anyone but let’s say minors is what you actually use a case by case nuanced approach to the child in question. There are some children for whom there might be points where it is too early for that child, there will be others for whom we’re on a balance of the distress that their gender dysphoria is causing them how long they’ve been, like socially, moving through the world as a as a gender that they’ve transitioned towards. That actually the sort of there’s a balance there about what is right for that child. And where it becomes I think dangerous, whether that’s in terms of state legislatures, whether that’s in terms of media commentary, is there’s no way to really speak in broad general terms about this is the age that it would be appropriate or this is the age it isn’t appropriate, that isn’t going to cause harm to some individual child who doesn’t meet that specific criteria, which is why the best approach as with so many other forms of medicine for minors, I mean, every day in your country, my country, miners, and their parents are taking medical decisions. All of the treatments that are developed for trans youth were developed, actually, for cisgender youth. So puberty blockers were developed for precocious, puberty and cisgender. Girls mostly, and originally used for that for young girls whose puberty started early and that cause distress, developing ahead of time, most surgeries that trans people have originally developed for cisgender people. And of course, like, you know, there are many other arenas of healthcare. The reason why trans health care is controversial is because it’s become politicized, is because there is a significant amount of money, time and power put into suggesting that there is something controversial about being trans itself. And unfortunately, there’s a bias there that it’s like actually being trans is a bad outcome, we might let some adults because we pity them, we might let them do it. But it’s a bad outcome. And no one would really want a child to be trans if they could be sad. And that’s an ideological bias that really politicizes this discussion and makes this area of healthcare seem very different to the million other forms of health care that are carried out with children and their parents, in consultation with doctors every day of the week.

Andy Slavitt  32:31

Right, we ought to be caring for our children as individuals, not allowing some kind of broad brush prejudice to not allow it to happen. That’s how I just interpret that situation. But Jo, do you have a read on public reaction to all of this?

Jo Yurcaba  32:49

Well, I definitely think that it’s in part, like Shon was saying about the fact that people don’t know a lot of trans people, and even fewer people know trans youth. So they don’t know what their lives look like. I also think that they’re not they just don’t have enough information about what these bills say. For example, think it’s really interesting that the bills, don’t ban puberty blockers for precocious puberty or don’t ban for example, if someone wanted to have a double mastectomy for reasons other than gender affirming care. They also allow surgeries on intersex babies, which we have a growing amount of evidence says is harmful to them on the US is one of the few countries I think that you know, hasn’t tried to stop that practice. So it’s really interesting sort of what information is being conveyed about these bills. Because when you look at actually the fine print of them, and the fact that they make these exceptions in certain cases and not others, it really shows that it’s a targeting of transvenous, rather than, you know, this fear about what if kids make the wrong decision? Or what if there are these bad effects of the medications and things like that?

Shon Faye  34:03

I was going to just add to that the that really interesting point that Joe just raised about, about the hypocrisy of maintaining non-consensual surgeries on intersex children was outline gender affirming health care for trans children, to me are very much linked, because what they’re both about is, is maintaining a society in which there is this rigid sex and gender binary. But the reality is that it’s cis dominated society that gets to decide that so everyone has to fit into these two specific neat boxes in the way that society demands. But that can mean for a child whose sex may be in some way indeterminate. Well, we’re going to take the decision and we’re going to force you into one of the two boxes. And then for a child who has been put into a box and says that box is not correct, it’s well actually no, we’re going to force you to remain In the box, so there is a similar logic of domination about this, this, this obsession with maintaining a really, really rigid binary that runs through both practices, despite the fact that they’re also, you know, on the face of it. They’re completely contradictory and irrational to have surgeries on one group of children and two out all the same, often similar procedures on a group of children that actually desperately might want them in some cases.

Andy Slavitt  35:27

Let’s move to the question of why people who are not transgender should care. You’ve written about this, Shawn, tell us why this matters to the to the lives of everybody else.

Shon Faye  35:44

Yeah, I mean, that’s the opening line of my book, the transgender issue says the liberation of trans people would improve the lives of everyone in our society. And that’s something I firmly believe one while it’s just basic liberation politics, that you judge a society by the people, how it treats the people at the margins. And when you start to like to improve the conditions of any marginalized group, you tend to improve the conditions of everyone but with trans people specifically, it’s what I just sort of alluded to there about this obsession with the gender binary is that this does harm us all, we are all socialized into this very rigid gender binary, that is harmful to everyone, it is harmful to the most masculine, toxic and I say that and in quote, in quotation was straight sis man, because in some ways, they’ll have been something in his socialization, that will, he’ll be required to deform his own individuality and personality in service of his gender role. At some point, there is no one alive, I don’t believe that, in some ways, isn’t curbing their individuality for this system. And for many people, or pretty much all women, if you’re a feminist, if you’re a woman that believes you should be able to work that you should be able to like determine what happens to your body. And then you’re already resisting the gender binary, and it sort of fullest form, any gay people, bisexual, lesbian, you’re sleeping with wrong people, therefore, you’re not doing gender correctly, the more rigid that we have an idea of gender in society, the more rigid an idea of agenda we have, the handful of days.

Andy Slavitt  37:13

I want to kind of finish on a very human note, towards a note of optimism. By asking, I’ll start with you, Joe, to talk about young people’s attitudes towards these bills towards this line of pushing. Is it only a matter of time before this new generation says sorry, as with every other form of discrimination we’ve experienced, we’re going to do away with this one, too?

Jo Yurcaba  37:41

Oh, yeah. I mean, that’s the polls are telling us obviously, is that the younger generations are voting more in favor of LGBTQ rights. An increasing number of Gen Z identifies as LGBTQ and so that that definitely looks to be like, what will happen? We aren’t We’re also just seeing that in social movements here. So for example, in Florida, the protests against the don’t say gay bill, were really intense. I mean, there were hundreds of students that have walked out of schools there on March 31, Trans Day of visibility. Just last week, there was a nationwide coordinated effort by a youth led group, where there were walkouts or Marches in all 50 states, it was called the march for queer and trans youth autonomy. And so the young people are like really pushing back in a really incredible way.

Andy Slavitt  38:36

Yeah, I think because I think this resonates with certain people, because it makes them uncomfortable. They are comfortable with the language and comfortable with the words. As Shon said, they don’t people don’t know people specifically. So they get an image in their mind instead of thinking about people in their life that matter to them. But I don’t think that’s the case. If you’re in your late teens or in your 20s I think you are much more likely to know people. The language doesn’t bother you. You didn’t grow up. You know, I mean, I’ll be honest, I’m 56 years old, I grew up at the norm and language was homophobic language. That was that extreme it was, it was the norm now. It’s no longer the norm, thank God. But for people growing up today, who’d never had that. I can’t imagine that this is finding as much resonance.

Shon Faye  39:19

Well, let me say this, just my touch on my own experience is that I’m 35 years old, a transsexual woman, I spent a lot of my youth very confused about who I was. Why because there was no possibility for me to really see a trans woman who was leading a life that I felt was a livable. I mean, I had seen some trans women on like, reality TV, there was a trans woman I might have seen like, you know, walking past my high school and people would have been making fun of her. You know, I didn’t see that a trans life was a livable one. Cut to now. And I mean, even you know to us doing this chair and I doing this every day, and I don’t even have to try doing this sort of public work me and you know, 1000s of other trans people who are publicly visible, we present at least the possibility that trans young people now do at least see that it is possible to have some kind of livable, not perfect, but content life as a trans person, I think that’s like one of the most important aspects of like, what any trans person in the public sphere does just by existing and getting on with their life, and often their work. And I think that’s just a very different world. And I think now, young people, whether they’re trans or not, like you say, they have that familiarity that we didn’t when I was growing up, there’s why people are coming out younger. And as much as people try and make it difficult, it’s you’re not going to roll back the tide of people coming out, yes, you can make it really challenging for them. And that that has to be resisted at every turn. But I do retain this optimism, that that isn’t the same level of secrecy, shame, living in the shadows that there was for people of my generation, and certainly people before.

Andy Slavitt  41:06

That’s a great reflection. I actually want to give my own closing as well with a little bit of a shout out. About two years ago, three years ago, I invested in a group of a company called Plume Health here in the US. And still invested around the board. They’re the largest provider of gender affirming care in the country. They’ve got the largest number of trans clinicians, and the largest number of trans patients of any healthcare organization in the country. So I shout out Jerrica, the founder, and what she has done, and I thank you both for being in the bubble on that final note.

Jo Yurcaba  41:49

Thank you. Thank you so much for having me.

Shon Faye  41:51

Thank you for having us.

Andy Slavitt  42:05

All right, let me tell you what we have coming up on Friday, how the dogs decision, the assault and gender reproductive rights has reshaped American politics. Beginning with what we saw in Wisconsin last week, Reid Epstein from the New York Times. […] from the capital times and Madison will both be here to get a lowdown on that. I think there are many people who would say that our political landscape as we had in 2024 is redrawn and yet a new way that may change which states are competitive, and how people turn out for issues. Okay, if you tune in then we’ll talk to you on Friday.

CREDITS  42:59

Thanks for listening to IN THE BUBBLE. We’re a production of Lemonada Media. Kathryn Barnes, Jackie Harris and Kyle Shiely produced our show, and they’re great. Our mix is by Noah Smith and James Barber, and they’re great, too. Steve Nelson is the vice president of the weekly content, and he’s okay, too. And of course, the ultimate bosses, Jessica Cordova Kramer and Stephanie Wittels Wachs, they executive produced the show, we love them dearly. Our theme was composed by Dan Molad and Oliver Hill, with additional music by Ivan Kuraev. You can find out more about our show on social media at @LemonadaMedia where you’ll also get the transcript of the show. And you can find me at @ASlavitt on Twitter. If you like what you heard today, why don’t you tell your friends to listen as well, and get them to write a review. Thanks so much, talk to you next time.

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