Politics

First openly trans lawmaker in Kansas faces explicit transphobia from Republican colleague

“You can’t lop a penis off and then expect, you know, a little boy to now live his life,” Helmer said on Monday according to the Associated Press, adding that the person would be in “regret” for the rest of their life. No one is lopping the genitals off of children, period. Adding to this incredibly misleading and incorrect portrayal of science is the fact that Helmer is a retired school counselor and nursing instructor. 

Riffel, the student who received the initial response from Helmer, said in an interview with the Associated Press they weren’t surprised by Helmer’s feelings, given what it takes to sponsor anti-trans legislation. They said the rhetoric against LGBTQ+ folks has been the same for a long time, and at the end of the day, they just want to be themselves and live their life. 

In the same email to Riffel, by the way, Helmer reportedly claimed that a doctor can “inject meds” and “dilute” but cannot “destroy” what “God has done in the perfection of the HUMAN BEING.” Helmer also claimed that as a former biology major, she understands the biological difference between “a man and a woman.” She also claimed to Riffel that trans women are stronger and larger than cisgender women and therefore it’s dangerous for cis and trans women to share bathrooms.

Again, this is all transphobia, not accurate science or medicine.

If you’re wondering why these two were emailing to begin with, it’s because Riffel was a responsible concerned adult and reached out to Helmer to try and reason with her about her support of the anti-trans health care bill. 

“What have trans kids ever done to you?” Riffel asked in their email, according to The Washington Post. “Are they a threat to you? Should they be attacked for simply wanting to be who they want to be?” Hypothetically these questions would be a great way to engage with someone’s empathy and compassion, but Helmer used it as an opportunity to spew transphobia and hate.

And in case there is any confusion, Helmer confirmed in an interview with the Topeka Capital-Journal that she was referencing Myers in her email about the bathroom. 

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