Rising Number of Transgender Youths Fleeing US

There’s one in every family: an adventurous soul who packs up shop and moves abroad to start a new life. However, there is a significant demographic that makes up these globetrotters: trans people.

Stepping Out

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Trans individuals, as well as concerned parents raising trans and nonbinary children, are actively pursuing a life outside of the US due to its explosive response to the trans rights movement.

A Far Jump

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These individuals are fleeing not just to the common destination of Europe. Some families have moved as far away as New Zealand, which offers better access to treatment in regards to gender-affirming healthcare.

Rising Persecution

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In recent years, 20 states have passed legislation that bars doctors from performing positive feats of gender confirmation treatment. Medical professionals in these states are not permitted to prescribe hormone blockers or perform operations on minor patients. 

Laws to the Extreme

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Locations like Florida are taking even more extreme measures. If authorities learn that parents are allowing their children to undergo transition with medical assistance, there is legal ground to have the child removed from the home.

Gender Refugees

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Those choosing to flee the US are given a label by the media: gender refugee. The term is given to trans or nonbinary individuals who were forced to leave their native country due to hostile attitudes based on gender identity.

Nothing New

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The idea of gender refugees is not a new occurrence. Several non-profits already exist to help people move abroad and escape persecution. Such NGOs, such as the Rainbow Railroad in Canada, work to provide guidance through the complex visa process.

Changing Directions

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What is new about gender refugees is the direction of movement. Typically, the US was one of the first locations sought after by asylum seekers. However, as a result of political oppression, many US citizens are looking to live elsewhere. 

A Daunting Call

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Moving abroad is no easy measure, and for trans youth hoping to leave the US, help is almost certain to be required. Relocation to a new country comes with its own set of hurdles, but trans youth may not be able to rely on unsupportive family and friends.

What It Takes

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Starting a new life abroad takes a great deal of time and can be an extremely emotional process. This rings true especially for queer youth, as it is an emotionally taxing process that typically costs tens of thousands of dollars.

Something Over the Horizon

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Due to the large demand of people leaving the country, a new group has emerged to assist these gender refugees. And they have already effectively emigrated nearly 36 applicants to their new home countries.

TRANSportation Fast

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Despite the consistent political tensions bombarding the trans community, the organization TRANSport has stepped up to the plate. The group offers help with acquiring necessary documentation.

Mission Statement

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The ultimate goal of TRANSport is to ensure that trans individuals can live proudly and healthily in a new home abroad. By moving their applicants outside of the US, they are making sure these people can live somewhere where their rights are protected.

Behind the Founder

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Rynn Azerial Willgohs, the TRANSport founder, was 50 years old when she founded the organization. She was inspired by personal traumas as well as pressing legal battles over trans rights.

Who Is on the Move

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Willgohs said, “The demographic is typically people in their twenties, which is really surprising because they were initially the ones that were like, Oh, we need to stay and fight, we need to do this, we need to do that,’”. 

Spreading Support

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Willgohs started her project specifically to invest in trans youth from North Dakota. However, with persecution spreading throughout the country, Willgohs has opened up applications from Oklahoma.

Oklahoma Also in Crisis

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When asked about why, Willgohs commented, “We’re getting a lot of traffic from Oklahoma. So what I’ve done is I’ve created this list saying, ‘Okay, if this is what you want to do, this is what you need to do before you leave.’”

Climb the Family Tree

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One of the most common methods for relocation is to track the applicant’s ancestry. Individuals who meet the right criteria can receive a lineage visa instead of seeking asylum.

The Full Package

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TRANSport clients can also receive legal aid for name changes, obtain official medical documents to support their transition, and ship medications internationally.

Cutting Costs

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A process that usually would cost an arm and a leg, Willgohs works tirelessly to make the experience affordable. The average bill for TRANSport clients is around $2,000.

Caught in Middle Ground

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While many activists praise the efforts being made by TRANSport to aID trans youth, others remain skeptical. Political experts are concerned that those filing under “asylum seeker” may be outranked by other individuals from other countries.

The post Rising Number of Transgender Youths Fleeing US first appeared on Pulse of Pride.

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For transparency, this content was partly developed with AI assistance and carefully curated by an experienced editor to be informative and ensure accuracy.

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