HomePoliticsIowa professor slams Pence's 'appalling' argument on trans youth in emotional message

Iowa professor slams Pence’s ‘appalling’ argument on trans youth in emotional message

A Iowa professor hit former vice president Mike Pence with an emotional question at town hall about his “appalling” argument against providing transgender youth with gender-affirming care. (You can see the moment below)

Melissa McCollister, a professor of social work at Grand View University, choked back tears as she spoke violence towards trans and gender non-conforming people and the Rise of anti-LGBTQ bills during the NewsNation-event organized.

“What is your political plan to protect the transgender community, specifically Black and brown trans women, from historically high levels of violence?” asked McCollister, a member of the LBGTQ community with trans family members.

Pence – who? favors a national ban on gender-affirming care for trans youth – told McCollister he was “deeply saddened to learn of those tragic circumstances” before saying he hoped she would also listen to her “heart” on the issue.

“To me, what adults do in their lives, the decisions they make, including transgender adults, is one thing. But for kids under 18, I mean there’s a reason we don’t allow them to drive until they’re 16,” said Pence, who also noted age restrictions on tattoos and alcohol consumption.

“That’s because we understand that children don’t fully understand the consequences of their actions… When it comes to surgical or chemical procedures, I really think we have to protect our children from decisions that will affect the balance.” of their lifes.”

Pence’s comments come at a time when more than 35% of trans youth live in states that have passed gender-affirming care bans. according to the Human Rights Campaign, the country’s largest LGBTQ+ advocacy group.

McCollister, in response to Pence, highlighted her work on behalf of LGBTQ youth and also reflected on the threats directed at her.

“I have worked with children as young as five who have transgender and gender non-conforming identities. And I’ve bred one,” McCollister said.

“And to hear someone tell me that it’s not okay for young children to make decisions about their gender identity and ask school officials for support, protection and help, is appalling.”

Pence later weighed in on what he called the “misguided” idea of ​​“telling young, impressionable children that little boys can become girls or little girls that they can become boys.”

“I would like to hug any of those young people and just say, ‘We love you, but wait,’” he said.

“Wait until you come of age. Wait until you have a better idea of ​​who you are. And then live the life you want to live in this free country.”

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