LAS VEGAS (Nov. 7, 2022) — On Friday, Silver State Equality, Nevada’s LGBTQ+ civil rights organization, denounced political ads attacking transgender youth and the targeted spread of misinformation regarding transgender health care to predominantly Black and Spanish-speaking voters.
A double-sided postcard is being sent to homes in predominantly Black and Latino neighborhoods across Nevada. “Joe Biden and his political allies are indoctrinating your children,” the mailer says in bold red letters. “Radical and irreversible gender experiments on children,” the other side says in bold pink text, falsely claiming that the Biden administration is “pushing” for the treatments by stopping puberty and removing genitalia.
An image of the highest-ranking openly transgender government official, Rachel Levine, the Department of Health and Human Services’ Assistant Secretary for Health, is also featured on the postcard with Sam Brinton, an Energy Department official who is the first openly gender-fluid official in the federal government. A caption says Levine is promoting the “castration of boys and girls.”
“These advertisements demonize transgender Americans and disseminate outright misinformation,” said André Wade, State Director of Silver State Equality. “The purpose of these advertisements is to reduce voter turnout. In addition to being immoral and cruel, their targeting is also racist. This style of advertisement appeals to the lowest common denominator of intolerance. When you produce this type of negative response to the most vulnerable members of our society, you create a situation in which people feel justified in attacking them physically, mentally, and through public policy. We will continue to work for the equality of all LGBTQ+ individuals, especially with regard to bodily autonomy and making their own medical decisions.”
The mailers and radio advertisements with the same message are paid for by the America First Legal Foundation, an organization formed by the ex-Trump adviser Stephen Miller. Miller is well-known for influencing the Trump administration’s zero-tolerance immigration policy, which separated children from their parents at the border, ended Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, and restricted Muslim admittance into the United States.
This campaign of deception exaggerates the facts around gender-affirming care. While the majority of major medical societies support gender-affirming care for teenagers with gender dysphoria, the majority of clinicians prefer to postpone surgical operations until adulthood. Instead, doctors are more likely to offer counseling, social transitioning — which does not entail medical procedures — and, if necessary, puberty blockers or hormones depending on an individual assessment of the patient. It has been demonstrated that gender-affirming care improves the mental health and well-being of gender-diverse children and adolescents.
“It saves lives,” said Wade. “The release of this information could prevent a child from receiving assistance that could prevent them from taking a darker route.”
As Nevada’s statewide LGBTQ+ civil rights organization, Silver State Equality brings the voices of LGBTQ+ people and allies to institutions of power in Nevada and throughout the U.S. Silver State Equality strives to create a world that is healthy, just and fully equal for all LGBTQ+ people. Silver State Equality is a Nevada-based program affiliated with and supported by Equality California and Equality California Institute, the nation’s largest statewide LGBTQ+ civil rights organization. More information at SilverStateEquality.org.