EXCLUSIVE: Kentucky family speaks out on SB 150 impacts, decision to move out of state
Father: "I don't want to leave but I can't stay."
CENTRAL KENTUCKY (WTVQ) — June is Pride Month but some families in Kentucky are feeling anything but. The passage of Senate Bill 150, dubbed “the worst anti-trans bill in the nation” is set to take effect June 29. It bans healthcare providers in the state from performing gender-affirming care for transgender children including prescribing drugs that delay, stop or alter puberty, among other things.
ABC 36’s Erica Bivens talked exclusively to one family in Kentucky who says they’re now moving because of it.
The ripple effects of SB 150 are now being seen and felt by those who live in the state. While the bill is set to take effect later this month, the American Civil Liberties Union of Kentucky has filed a lawsuit seeking a preliminary injunction to block part of the controversial bill from going into effect. While the group remains hopeful the injunction will be granted, one family ABC 36 talked to — who wishes to remain anonymous — says it’s too late and they’ve already made the decision to find another state more accepting.
“Connor is our son. He is F-M transgender. He’s playful, he loves to run around, loves to go outside, just all around normal kid,” said Mark.
Mark says Connor was born a girl but around the age of four, started sharing an inner struggle.
“At bedtime, I would often ask Connor questions like ‘So is there anything you want to tell me? How’s your day going?’ Things like that. And Connor started saying ‘I feel like a girl on the inside but a boy on the outside.’ We weren’t dismissive but we were sort of quiet about it the first couple times. But it became sort of a common thing, maybe once a month, then once a week. So that’s sort of how we discovered,” explained Mark.
Now seven, Mark says Connor doesn’t want to be transgender, he just wants to be a boy. But SB 150 prevents that.
When asked what specifically he takes issue with in the bill, Mark named several concerns but addressed the prevention of puberty blockers in particular.
“Doctors in Kentucky will lose their license if they treat my son affirmingly. So that means we have to travel across state lines to get medicine,” said Mark. “Because Connor’s seven, regular blood tests to see if puberty has started could happen at maybe eight or it could be 11 or 12 before we even think about any medication. But just doing those blood tests for that purpose would be gender-affirming care which is prohibited.”
Mark says the law, which would prevent Connor from being able to transition, has forced them to leave their home.
“We have to uproot our family. I was born and raised in Kentucky and I don’t want to leave but I can’t stay. Illinois is the closest state that has affirming and supportive laws,” said Mark.
And Mark says that based on forums and private groups their family’s part of, they’re not the only ones making this decision.
“I know of people that are moving, I know of people who want to move but can’t move and that’s really the saddest part is when you don’t have a choice, when you have to stay in a place that doesn’t want you,” explained Mark.
While the battle in court continues, Mark can’t help but wonder why?
“Why us? Why transgenderism? Like, what is so wrong about it,” questioned Mark.
When asked what the family hopes to accomplish by speaking out, Mark said, “That Connor’s just a kid. As a parent, you have one job to love your kid. And if your kid’s telling you something over and over again, if you love them, you believe them.”
As we await a decision in court, LGBTQ+ groups across the state want people to know there are resources available to transgender kids and their families.