When I ran to be Mayor of St. Louis City I committed to ensuring that our city becomes a place where all of our residents can thrive, regardless of their identity, and one which stands up for its residents and against discrimination – even in the face of preemption by the State of Missouri.
The Missouri legislature is considering discriminatory bills which will harm trans children throughout our state by depriving them of necessary healthcare and charge their loving parents with child abuse for simply supporting their children. This legislation would also deny licenses to healthcare providers who provide basic medical care to trans youth. As both an elected leader and a mother, this type of attack on our children horrifies me.
It is unimaginable how challenging it must be for the loving parents of these children to stand strong amidst a barrage of accusations of child abuse and threats of criminal investigation and even prosecution for simply supporting their children. Certain politicians are trying to use policies like this to divide us against each other for their own political gain, while provoking fear in parents that they may lose their children. Without access to care, parents of trans children will do what they must to protect their children. They will leave our state and the City of St. Louis. Who wouldn’t go somewhere else if it meant a better life for their child?
LGBTQIA residents of St. Louis are our neighbors, our friends, our coworkers, and so much more. These harmful and discriminatory policies at the state level would leave a scar on the beautiful, diverse community we’ve worked so hard to build. It makes it harder for us as a city to attract residents, who want to live in welcoming places where they can raise a family the way they choose to - not face attacks for it.
On Trans Day of Visibility, and every day, my administration will remain focused on all of the ways we can ensure that our City rises to the challenge of a safe and welcoming home for all who chose to live here - no matter their gender identity. And I will continue to call out discrimination wherever I see it, whether in our city or in the statehouse.