© 2024 Kansas City Public Radio
NPR in Kansas City
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Unprecedented order restricting gender-affirming care sparks fear in Missouri LGBTQ community

A blonde woman smiling for a headshot photo.
Alleria Stanley
Retired Army veteran Alleria Stanley, who identifies as a trans woman, said there is fear and uncertainty in the trans community after Missouri's attorney general issued an emergency regulation broadly restricting gender-affirming care.

Missouri's attorney general issued an emergency ruling broadly restricting transgender health care. A political reporter describes the challenges to the ruling and a transwoman living in the state describes the fear and uncertainty of within the trans-community.

Retired Army veteran Alleria Stanley, who identifies as a trans woman, said she's frightened by an emergency regulation issued by Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey.

Missouri is one of the more than two dozen states that have crafted legislation that would restrict transgender health care for minors. But unlike any other state, the order issued by Missouri's attorney general would add restrictions to adults seeking gender-affirming care.

"It's frightening," Stanley said. "It's a lot of uncertainty in the community."

While many states have focused on minor care, the new order gaining national attention restricts adults from receiving gender-affirming care without first having "three years of documented gender dysphoria, hours and hours of talk therapy, a screening for autism and 'treating and resolving mental health conditions,'" said Jason Rosenbaum, a political correspondent for St. Louis Public Radio.

Bailey sent a statement to Up To Date.

"The safeguards that I’ve put into place are intended to protect all patients: to ensure providers present all the information necessary to make health decisions," Bailey's statement said. "My rule ensures all patients have access to mental health services, and that all patients understand the experimental nature of these drugs. I’m proud to be the first Attorney General in the nation to use my rulemaking authority to protect patients and require that providers abide by basic standards of care.”

"The applications of these rules, if they are actually enforced, are very serious. And that's why this is basically setting off shockwaves throughout the LGBTQ community in Missouri," Rosenbaum said.

A lawsuit challenging the order was filed in St. Louis.

Stanley is not alone in her fear. Other families she's spoken with have questioned whether it is safe to stay in the United States.

Stanley said she noticed the shifting attitude towards trans individuals during the Trump administration.

"There was a lot of permission given to a culture of bigotry and hate, and where people were free to speak up with when they were previously allowed only to speak in quiet corners and conversations," Stanley said.

She plans to relocate out of the state due to work, but the mother of five leaves behind a college-aged transgender son who intends to continue school in Missouri.

"He's worried and he listens to the rhetoric. He listens to the news. He listens to the conversations, and he worries about being on his own and being here in Missouri," Stanley said.

Stay Connected
When I host Up To Date each morning at 9, my aim is to engage the community in conversations about the Kansas City area’s challenges, hopes and opportunities. I try to ask the questions that listeners want answered about the day’s most pressing issues and provide a place for residents to engage directly with newsmakers. Reach me at steve@kcur.org or on Twitter @stevekraske.
As a producer for Up To Date, my goal is to inform our audience by curating interesting and important conversations with reliable sources and individuals directly affected by a topic or issue. I strive for our program to be a place that hosts impactful conversations, providing our audience with greater knowledge, intrigue, compassion and entertainment. Contact me at elizabeth@kcur.org or on Twitter at @er_bentley_ruiz.
KCUR serves the Kansas City region with breaking news and award-winning podcasts.
Your donation helps keep nonprofit journalism free and available for everyone.