Kansas City bids to become a ‘sanctuary city’ for trans people, as state inflicts cruel laws

Two people walk away from the camera draped in a trans flag

Kansas City has introduced a bid to become a “sanctuary city” for trans people, as the state of Missouri has introduced some of the most restrictive laws surrounding gender-affirming care in the United States.

In April, Missouri introduced legislation that would make access to gender-affirming care for all trans people – including adults – nearly impossible, with hoops including mandatory therapy and three years of medically-documented gender dysphoria to jump through before receiving care.

Chillingly, mental health conditions including anxiety and depression could disqualify a person from being able to receive gender-affirming care, as could being autistic.

The rules have been described as some of the most extreme in the US, in a year in which a huge proportion of trans youth are at risk of losing access to their healthcare.

In an effort to protect local trans people, however, the Kansas City Council in Missouri has reportedly introduced a resolution making the city a “sanctuary” for trans people receiving gender-affirming care on Thursday (4 May).

The LGBTQ+ Commission of Kansas City explained that the legislation would “create municipal policy around access in the city of Kansas City” so locals could receive vital healthcare. The bill will now go to a committee for public input.

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The LGBTQ+ Commission previously released a letter urging the city to pass legislation declaring it a “safe haven” for trans healthcare.

“There are several states, counties, and cities who have passed legislation codifying the right to receive and have access to gender-affirming care into law,” It read. 

“In the city of Kansas City, we must take every action at our disposal to be proactive, reduce harm and ensure that Kansas Citians have access to life-saving healthcare.”

Ahead of the meeting on Thursday, councilwoman Andrea Bough told NPR that the city council is working on legislation that would protect its trans community within their powers. 

She explained that the council is working to understand how much the city is legally allowed to do, and that they must be careful in wording any legislation. 

“We can say to members of our community that we see you, we welcome you and we will support you in every way that we can,” Bough said. 

“We will not let those who seek to harm you come to our communities and step on our jurisdiction and impose their will on us to the highest extent of our capabilities and our laws.”

As well as introducing “terrifying” rules on trans healthcare, the Missouri government also recently launched a website where residents were encouraged to submit “concerns” about doctors providing gender-affirming care.

The website was soon taken down after Twitter and TikTok users hilariously trolled the report form with memes, jokes and even the entire Bee Movie script.