Seven years ago, I was standing in front of the Tennessee General Assembly, testifying that trans people should use the bathroom based on their gender. Seven years later, the Tennessee legislature is at it again, except this time they are attempting to change the medical standards of care in Tennessee to make it more difficult for trans youth to access gender-affirming health care.

What is gender-affirming care? Gender-affirming care is health care that attends to transgender people’s physical, social and mental health needs while affirming their gender identity. This type of health care often includes hormone therapy and puberty blockers for trans youth, a type of care the Tennessee legislature is attempting to change and criminalize, undermining parents’ and trans youth’s decision-making power.

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Brendon T. Holloway grew up in Kingsport and earned a bachelor’s degree in social work at Middle Tennessee State University. Holloway is a trans person, a social worker, and a current board member with the Tennessee Equality Project.