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Perspective of a transgender Ohioan

<p>As the Ohio state government works to inhibit transgender care, some transgener students are speaking out.</p>

As the Ohio state government works to inhibit transgender care, some transgener students are speaking out.

My name is Eve Harvey. I am an undergraduate student at Miami University. I am involved across campus and Oxford, but most importantly, I am a transgender woman. 

I have known I am trans for nearly four years and have been out in some fashion for all of those four years. I started my medical transition by engaging in hormone replacement therapy (HRT) as a form of gender-affirming care after I attended my first Pride parade in Cincinnati in June 2023. The medicine I take is life saving, and I would not be alive today without it.

On Jan. 5, a mere five days into the new year — which has already seen at least 125 pieces of anti-transgender legislation introduced across the country — Gov. Mike DeWine signed and issued an executive order banning gender-affirming surgeries for minors, which were not happening in the first place, according to DeWine himself. This order also institutes inane requirements to access gender-affirming care for ALL Ohioans — care that quite frankly does not exist in Ohio

Among these requirements are the need for a multiparty healthcare team for transgender individuals including a psychiatrist, an endocrinologist and a bioethicist. Ignoring the fact that endocrinologists are few and far between, bioethicists are not healthcare providers and merely serve as another roadblock for consenting transgender adults to receive gender-affirming care.

Additionally, DeWine is instituting a requirement for “lengthy” mental health counseling before an individual can even begin to receive gender-affirming care. These new requirements make Ohio among the most restrictive places in the entire country in the U.S., behind even Florida, which has seen thousands of transgender people unable to receive their prescriptions since Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a law that restricted gender-affirming care. 

It is very possible and likely that these new requirements will result in transgender people across Ohio facing extended waiting periods to even begin the process of obtaining HRT and other forms of gender-affirming care, let alone those who already access it like me who will likely be cut off from their life saving medicine for months at a time.

This egregious attack on transgender people, a week after the veto of H.B. 68, which further targeted transgender people and may see a veto override in the coming weeks, is beyond scary. I am someone who doesn’t get intimidated by transphobic laws, actions or rhetoric. It is quite literally what I have spent dozens of hours researching and studying during my time as a Miami student. 

I am scared, but I will not let this attack have the effect that DeWine and others want it to have. I am proud to be from Ohio, and I am willing to fight for my home. However, I and every other transgender person in the state cannot do it alone. 

We need all of the help that we can receive, which is why I’m asking everyone to engage in actions that show you care about your transgender friends, family and colleagues. Whether that is reaching out to your trans friends, donating somewhere like TransOhio’s emergency fund or contacting your representatives or DeWine directly, please show up for the trans community. 

Eve Harvey is a senior majoring in political science with a thematic sequence in gender in global context from Cleveland, Ohio. She currently serves as the Secretary of the Treasury for the Associated Student Government.

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