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Following the passage of legislation interdisant gender-affirming treatment for minors, Alabama families with trans children have begun to crowdsource to leave the state.
Two fundraising pages, created by moms with children who are currently on hormone therapy or puberty blockers, were set up within 48 hours after the law. Both mothers say the treatments their kids receive are essential for their well-being.
Heather's son Rob started puberty blockers seven years ago and eventually went to testosterone injections. She said that when she moved to Alabama nine months ago to be closer to his mother, the delay in getting her son's prescription sent her was horrifying.
"I was concerned he would die. He was so lethargic and so depressed. I could see his health deteriorating," she said.
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Rob says that even if he had given up testosterone, he was "dizzy all the time and depressed." He worries that his dysphoria, which to him, is similar to "the feeling you get when you go up a rollercoaster," will return.
Due to safety concerns, the last names have been denied.
The Vulnerable Child Compassion and Protection Act (), which was signed into law by Gov. Kay Ivey last week, prohibits puberty blockers, hormone therapy, and gender-affirming surgeries for minors. The law punishes not only doctors, but "any other person" who "prescribes or administers" the medications with a felony conviction, and up to ten years in jail. Parents expressed concerns that they may be prosecuted under the law for aiding their children in finding medical
According to the study, catheterized tubes and hormone therapy are considered as safe and effective "evidence-based care" for children and adults in appropriate situations. Gender-affirming minor surgeries are not performed in Alabama.
The law is being adopted by parents of transgender children, doctors, and civil rights advocates. If their request for a temporary restraining order is not accepted, the state may begin enforcing treatment limitations on May 8.
Ivey stated that "There are very real challenges facing our young people," especially due to today's social challenges and modernization. I believe strongly that if the Good Lord made you a boy, you are a boy, and if he made you a girl, you are a girl."
Heather wrote a letter asking $30,000 for associating families with money to pack up and move their homes.
Kim, a 12-year-old mother who lives in Mobile, claims that this legislation has forced her family to "go into flight mode." Her daughter, who came out at six, is now on puberty blockers.
"I could see the difference in her between waiting for her approval for the puberty blockers and after the first shot. It was like a huge weight was lifted off her shoulders and the stress was gone. She was just extremely happy," she said.
Kim and her family "feel very unsafe and very menacing" with the passage of the law.
She said she expects to leave Massachusetts, a "very LGBTQ friendly state" by the end of May, so that she can get set up in a new house and establish care before her daughter is due for her next puberty blocker injection in July.
Kim's family has gathered to discuss the subject of "some of the financial burden of having to move so quickly."
Kim said that he was unsure about assisting strangers if they could provide assistance. "It's atrocious to me that we are even at that point." Nobody in any state should be making a GoFundMe to solicit help to essentially flee their home and return to a safer state. That appears to be quite un-American."
Kim is preparing to purchase her car repaired so they can travel to Massachusetts; she is registering for health care in the state while her husband, who is a disabled veteran, is looking for housing loans.
Heather, who is still a little off from reaching her $30,000 goal, is being harmed by leaving Alabama.
She was able to care for her grandmother in a hospice since returning home in July and does not want to be far from her.
Her son was also recently accepted to the Magic City Acceptance Academy, an LGBTQ-affirming charter school, which Heather promised would allow him to live on a campus and meet new friends after years of homeschooling.
I can't say on my Facebook that I'm looking for trans kids to be friends with my kids, Heather said. So they deserve to be in a school where everybody accepts them for who they are, and it's heartbreaking that the lawmakers are trying to keep the conversation going.
Heather said she and her family will look closer to Birmingham and attend the charter school as a result of recent lawsuits filed by civil rights organizations, including the ACLU, the Human Rights Campaign, and the Southern Poverty Law Center.
If the law is adopted, she cautioned that the danger to her family is too high.
"If I stay here and my kids need to be with me, I may be charged with a felony," said the author.