Help Our LGBTQ Family Leave Arkansas
We want to thank everyone for all of your help. At this time, our campaign has ended. If you are still interested in any form of contributions towards final settling needs, or perhaps Cas’ continued education, please contact us and we will give you information on how to help. Again, thanks for EVERYTHING!!!
Hello! We are the Spurriers, a family of three in Central Arkansas. Recent legislation introduced and passed by the Arkansas General Assembly has directly targeted our son's healthcare, education, and mental well-being. As a result, we are making a serious effort to relocate to a state that is more friendly to the LGBTQIA+ community. Keeping closeness to family, post-secondary educational opportunities, and our own health in mind, we have determined that New Mexico is the best fit for us.
We've lived in Arkansas since 2005. Our child has grown up in that time, learning kindness, humor, and empathy. A year and a half ago, he hesitantly came out to us as transgender. Despite the love and acceptance we have tried to embody, he was terrified of how we might react. He had heard horror stories of trans youth whose families responded with cruelty. We assured him of our unchanged love and understanding. Following that conversation, we reached out to his existing therapist and the wonderful staff at the Arkansas Children's Hospital Gender Spectrum Clinic to begin the long journey to help him transition into an identity that felt right for him.
Counselors and clinicians confirmed his conviction that this new course was right. The medical staff at ACH-GSC helped our son take the first step toward easing his dysphoria, by administering common birth control injections to reduce or eliminate the monthly trauma of his periods. In most transgender males, two doses of such drugs achieves the completely reversible cessation of monthly cycles for a period of time. For our son, the duration and frequency of periods increased substantially, which made what was already traumatic an absolute hell for him. After a third Hail Mary dose, which failed to produce the desired effect, the doctor suggested that moving on to testosterone injections would be the best option.
We are a month and a half in to weekly T shots, which our needle-shy teenage son has been self administering (the surest testament to his commitment to this transition). His confidence and comfort have increased by leaps and bounds, and it is clear that he is elated with his progress so far. He has gone from being on the verge of suicide to excitement for his future.
The Arkansas General Assembly has taken action to return him, and his transgender male and female peers, to that brink of self destruction. House Bill 1570 , explicitly prohibits not only gender reassignment surgeries—which are not performed on minors in Arkansas in the first place—but the puberty blocking medications and hormone replacement therapies which help ease gender dysphoria in teens until they reach majority and can make their own independent choices regarding surgery. Lacking a "grandfather clause" to exclude active hormone/blocker patients, the bill would cut off these teens…our teen…from their therapies, doing irreparable physical and mental harm.
Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson has vetoed HB1570, but members of the General Assembly have already pledged to see that the legislature overrides his veto. Even if the bill dies, it is but one of at least four (SB289 , SB354 , HB1570, & HB1749 so far) such bills, three of which have already been signed into law.
The writing is on the wall. Arkansas is not safe for our son, nor for us. Our only reasonable course of action is to escape from the state before the harms of these anti-transgender legislative actions can reach our doorstep. We have family and friends in New Mexico, a state which still respects the medical rights of transgender people and the healthcare professionals who aid them. Relocation, however, is expensive. We are managing to save some on our own, but we cannot save at a rate sufficient to relocate in time to meet the enrollment deadline for his senior year. This is where you can help.
Please consider donating to our campaign. The funds you offer will go toward the expenses of moving our belongings and ourselves between Arkansas and New Mexico, as well as securing a new place to live. Depending on the amount raised, we will either find ourselves in an apartment or putting a down payment on a house. For our circumstances, the latter is preferable, but anything that gets us free from the ignorance and hate endemic to Arkansas will be an enormous win.
Thank you in advance.
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North Little Rock, AR