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Sunday, April 10, 2022


by Eileen Ivey Sirota

The governor of Alabama on Friday signed into law two controversial bills: one that criminalizes healthcare providers who offer gender-affirming care to transgender youth and another that requires students to use bathrooms that match the gender on their birth certificates. Kay Ivey, a Republican, said she “believed very strongly that if the Good Lord made you a boy, you are a boy, and if he made you a girl, you are a girl”. The anti-gender-affirming care bill, described as the first legislation of its kind in the US, makes it a felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison to provide medical care including hormone treatment and puberty blockers to minors. It also includes bans on gender-affirming surgeries for transgender youth, which are extremely rare, and compels school personnel to disclose to a parent or guardian that a “minor’s perception of his or her gender or sex is inconsistent with the minor’s sex”. —The Guardian, April 8, 2022

We will fight them on the
beaches    we will fight them in
the sandbox    these tiny
terrorists, the little boys
with nail polish, a spangly pony
and a special Barbie.
We have God on our side
He who surely must have sanctified
the hand of the doctor filling out
the birth certificate.  We have
George Orwell on our side to
inspire our marketing team.
We’ll call it de-nazification, no,
we’ll call it parental support, no,
wait, we’ll call it The Vulnerable Child
Compassion and Protection Act.
No more shelter in the demilitarized
school nurse’s office.  We’ll make It a crime
to slow the inexorable hands of time
bringing forth an unwanted body.
In this holy war
No prisoners are too small.

Eileen Ivey Sirota is a psychotherapist and a poet.  Her chapbook Out of Order was published by Finishing Line Press in 2020.  Her poems have been published in District Lines, Beltway Poetry Quarterly, Lighten Up, The New Verse News, Ekphrastic Review, The Poeming Pigeon, Calyx, and Voices:  The Art and Science of Psychotherapy. She lives in Bethesda, MD with her husband and an ever-shifting blend of rage and wonder.