April 17th, 2024

Proposed trans policy focus of SACPA talk

By Steffanie Costigan - Lethbridge Herald Local Journalism Initiative Reporter on March 22, 2024.

A queer and trans social worker spoke on the topic of trans youth and parents’ rights policies proposed by Alberta government at the Southern Alberta Council on Public Affairs (SACPA) on Thursday.
The event was held in the dining room of the Lethbridge Senior Citizens Organization.
Guest speaker was Katie DeLucia-Burk who shared with the Herald a summary of her presentation at SACPA.
“The topics of the proposed policies related to trans youth and parents and the concept of trans or not trans rights, parents’ rights, and talking about those in the context of what we know in terms of research and just best practice as it comes to gender affirming care for youth. And definitely challenging the policies on a lot of grounds,” said DeLucia-Burk of her talk.
DeLucia-Burk spoke on medical transition which she stated was the “crux of this particular part of the policy.” She described the purpose of medical transition.
“The best that I can frame it is it seeks to bring the body into alignment with the mind, understanding that certain physical traits align with certain gender identities, and that comfort and safety can rely on being more aligned with your body being in more alignment with that gender identity.”
DeLucia-Burk addressed what she believes Danielle Smith’s policy goals are.
“The goal the policy is to ban puberty blockers and hormone therapies, which I will define before the age of 16. And to ban gender affirming surgeries for those 17 and under,” said DeLucia-Burk.
She said hormone blockers were originally created for youth experiencing precocious puberty.
“It’s when their body begins to go through puberty before they’re physically ready to do so.
“And this can happen for a number of different reasons. Ultimately, it wasn’t designed experimentally for trans youth, it was for youth who needed to pause puberty because their body was trying to force it too early.”
DeLucia-Burk addressed the premier’s comment on making irreversible decisions.
“The definition of puberty blockers are they are very reversible. Once they are stopped, once the individual stops taking them they’re puberty kicks in, and they go through it just as they would normally, just delayed.”
DeLucia noted hormone replacement therapy to be not as irreversible.
“Now hormone replacement therapy is not as irreversible, or rather is not as reversible. There are some things, certain things develop that can’t be reversed,” she said.
She voiced concern with the ban, saying the puberty blockers won’t have an effect on the youth due to youth being physically mature.
“That’s kind of at the crux of the issue with the banning. The ban essentially renders puberty blockers useless, because they’re not able to be used until 16 when puberty is well underway.
“And the idea of puberty blockers to make that transition easier. But if the young person does decide if this is their identity, and they want to go forward with hormone replacement, they’re not fighting against their body, their bodies working with them.”

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