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Mother, daughter speak out against anti-transgender legislation

Transgender Day of Remembrance is celebrated annually on Nov. 20 to honor the memory of transgender people who lost their lives in acts of anti-transgender violence.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Transgender Day of Remembrance is celebrated annually on Nov. 20 to honor the memory of transgender people whose lives were lost in acts of anti-transgender violence.

According to the Human Rights Campaign, more than 50 transgender or gender non-conforming people were shot or killed in 2021.

It was about five years ago when Minna became an LGBTQ advocate to stand with her daughter.

"I spent a lot of nights crying, not because I didn't want a transgender child, but because I knew that it would make her life a lot harder," she said. "Not just in terms of the stress and anxiety of having a body that doesn't match who you are inside, but also that I knew society, or that there were a number of people in society who would not treat her well because she's transgender."

Minna's daughter, Ember, transitioned when she was a freshman in high school.

"It took a lot of decision-making," Ember said. "Hormones that can increase mental health and help reduce anxiety and depression that a lot of people in the queer community and especially the transgender community suffer with are under fire."

On Transgender Remembrance Day, the debate over transgender youth rights is heating up. 

A hearing was held by a state house committee on House Bill 454, the "Save Adolescents from Experimentation Act," which would prohibit minors from receiving gender-affirming care.

Planned Parenthood of Greater Ohio began offering gender-affirming care to Ohioans 18 and older in 2021.

"This is life-saving care, and this bill is not medically accurate. It is a political attack on a vulnerable community," said Lauren Blauvelt-Copelin, Planned Parenthood Advocates of Ohio Vice President of Government Affairs and Public Advocacy.

Last week, the State Board of Education also met to discuss the future of Title IX.

"Even if these bills were not to pass, they send the message to these kids that you're not wanted, and you're not welcome here," Minna said.

State Representative Gary Click is the sponsor for House Hill 454. In an earlier interview with 10TV, he said, "We have to give children time to figure out who they are without mind-altering drugs like puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones."

There have been 20 public hearings on the bill, which remains in committee.

In the meantime, Ember and Minna choose to focus on hope.

"We just need to keep being ourselves and keep being the amazing people that we are," Ember said.

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