Behind The National Right-Wing Conspiracy To Bully Missouri’s Trans Kids

Progress MO

Last week, Jamie Reed, a former employee of the Washington University Transgender Center released an article alleging the center had committed wrongdoing against patients. But the timing and the key players surrounding the accusations, in addition to blatant political motivations, reveal she is part of a larger machine at work to attack LGBTQ+ people across the country.

Ambushing Kids and Families in Crisis

Attorney General Andrew Bailey has been investigating Washington University since late January without much fanfare – or any notification to the public.

Only five days before Republican state senators planned to introduce legislation barring kids from receiving life-saving gender-affirming care, Reed went public with the allegations.

Within hours, opportunistic Republicans from all over Missouri rushed to take advantage of the story. Ladder-climbing Virginia native Josh Hawley called for an investigation (even though one had been on-going for weeks) and later introduced legislation restricting gender-affirming care for kids.

Five days later, when the state senate heard the bills banning gender-affirming care for minors, Republicans were quick to reference the allegations against Washington University as support for their otherwise unfounded legislation.

Republican legislators needed to point the finger in committee hearings. They needed ‘evidence’ that their bigotry was founded. And so the allegations emerged.

Key Players: A Radical Georgia Lawyer and an Ambitious Local Politician

Most suspect is who Reed has roped in to help her cause, attorneys Vernadette Broyles and Ernie Trakas.

Ernie Trakas is a Republican county councilman out of St. Louis county. He has repeatedly and publicly used attacks on trans kids for his own political gain.

Reed’s other attorney is Vernadette Broyles, the president of the Child and Parental Rights Campaign, a law firm that pushes back against “the harms caused by gender identity ideology.” Broyles and her firm have tried several cases to overturn transgender policies in schools and advised Ron DeSantis on the Don’t Say Gay law. Broyles once compared LGBTQ advocates to insects, claiming LGBTQ-inclusive school policies are “passed in the dark” and “there’s a reason why cockroaches like the dark.”

Broyles is also listed as an allied attorney of the Alliance Defending Freedom, an anti-LGBTQ group that provides model legislation for conservative state legislators, including “bathroom bills”, trans kids in sports bills, “religious freedom” bills encouraging discrimination, and even bills criminalizing gay sex. The ADF employs over 3,000 allied attorneys who offer pro bono legal services to spread the idea that that homosexual behavior is ‘sinful and offensive to God.’”

Reed’s Fleet Of Activists Is Calling For Solutions That Would Hurt Trans Kids

In Reed’s article, she calls for a solution to her allegations: a moratorium on treating trans kids. The only individuals calling for these solutions are right-wing politicians and activists.

Advocates and doctors know that gender-affirming care is life-saving medical care for children and a moratorium is not a solution.

Read more about Missouri’s most anti-LGBTQ+ session in recent history here: Powerful Quotes From Missourians Who Testified Against ‘Don’t Say Gay’ Bill

Posted February 16, 2023