Guest Commentary: Ohio Republican Rep Introduces Legislation Celebrating Detransitioning

The bill's sponsor, Rep. Gary Click, is a Baptist pastor and the primary sponsor of another bill to deny gender-affirming care.

click to enlarge A transgender pride flag - Photo: Sharon McCutcheon
Photo: Sharon McCutcheon
A transgender pride flag

Last week, Rep. Gary Click, R-Vickery, a Baptist pastor, submitted legislation to designate March 12 as an LGBTQ-related observance throughout Ohio.

Was it to commemorate the March 12 births of gay icons like Vaslav Nijinsky, one of the greatest male dancers of the 20th Century or famed playwright Edward Albee?


How about a day in recognition of Jimmy Carter’s March 12, 1976, campaign stop in Los Angeles when the candidate told an audience that, if elected, he would be willing to issue an executive order banning discrimination against gay people in employment, housing, the military and immigration?


What about possibly honoring that day in 1981 when Pastor Brent Hawkes ended his 25-day hunger fast after successfully convincing the Toronto City Council to investigate police raids on bathhouses?

Of course not. (Though, thanks to LGBTQ+ icon Ronni Sanlo for these March 12 queer history facts!)

Click went a different route with the 11 words of HB 113: “The twelfth day of March is designated as ‘Detrans Awareness Day.'”

Because of course he is.

Detransitioners quantifiably

Click is the primary sponsor of HB 68, a bill that would deny gender-affirming care to Ohio’s youth.

Last year, a similar bill – HB 454 – trudged through the legislative process but never made it out of committee. For this new general session, Click has said that HB 68 is a priority for the Ohio Republicans who hold the supermajority in the Ohio House.

The concept of detransitioning – defined as stopping or reversing gender transition, which can include medical treatment or changes in appearance or both – lies at the core of Click’s arguments in favor of HB 68.

At a February press conference introducing the bill, Click argued that 85% to 95% of trans youth will outgrow those feelings.

Recent research disputes those findings, and, according to researcher Erin Reed, wildly so:

“Among trans youth, desistance and detransition rates are incredibly low. The most recent study in the prestigious journal Pediatrics, one of the only studies that use modern criteria, showed that 97.5% of trans youth continue to identify as trans on a 5 year follow-up.”

Further, Reed highlights “parental pressure and discrimination” stand as the most common reasons individuals cite for detransitioning.

Click’s HB 68 would directly and forcibly detransition youth in Ohio. Under the bill, youth already taking hormones would not be grandfathered into the bill; they would be given 180 days to stop taking hormones completely, after which their prescriptions would be outlawed.

Nor could these youth be referred to support in other states: HB 68 prohibits health care providers from providing these referrals, prohibiting conduct that “aids and abets” access to gender-affirming care.

So why Detrans Awareness Day?

This is where things might get confusing. Stay with me.

On March 8, Mother Jones broke the news of a secret working group composed of conservative policymakers who have been waging a coordinated campaign to help push anti-trans laws across the country.

The leaker of those more than 2,600 pages of emails exposing the secret cabal was a trans woman and former detransition activist named Elisa Rae Shupe, whose journey was extensively profiled last week in Xtra.

Shupe detailed how her experiences with detransition were key to conservative strategies to ban gender-affirming care across the country.

“My instinct is that it will be detransitioners, parents and athletes who will break this open, not radical feminists and I am ok with that,” one anti-trans leader wrote to Shupe in a leaked email regarding how to pass these restrictive policies.

Shupe says she has now been cast aside by the organizations using her narrative to further their conservative goals.

The Xtra article concludes with Shupe expressing concern about an emerging figure in detransition circles: Chloe Cole.

Cole is an 18-year-old currently suing a nationwide medical group and its doctors who Cole said “decided to perform a mutilating, mimicry sex change experiment” on her.

​​“[Chloe’s] like I was. She’s a younger clone of me,” Shupe told Xtra. “My worry is, what’s going to happen to her when all the attention is withdrawn?”

Cole is now paid to travel across the country to testify in favor of banning gender-affirming care.

QUESTION: And where did Cole first testify in front of a state legislature in 2022?
ANSWER: In Ohio, a guest of Click.

QUESTION: And who did Click interview last week for a YouTube video announcing his observance of Detrans Awareness Day?
ANSWER: Chloe Cole.

Detrans Awareness Day has as its supporters some of the most infamously anti-LGBTQ+ orgs in the country, including Family Policy Alliance (the lobbying arm of Focus on the Family), Concerned Women for America and Catholic League.

For Click, introducing HB 113 to designate March 12 as Detrans Awareness Day is yet another example of conservative, anti-LGBTQ+ factions being imposed on the lived experiences of LGBTQ+ Ohioans. Click has repeatedly stated that the Center for Christian Virtue has played a major role in crafting his ban on gender-affirming care, and this new day of observance looks to be more of the same.

In that YouTube video last week, Click asked Cole, “Why won’t they let you be your authentic self? Why can’t people just let people live their authentic selves?”

Let that irony sink in.

There is no indication of whether HB 113 will be assigned to a committee, much less whether Detrans Awareness Day will be a topic for debate any time soon.

All we know right now with certainty: this new LGBTQ-related observance is truly no holiday to celebrate.

This article was originally published by The Buckeye Flame and is republished here with permission.

Coming soon: CityBeat Daily newsletter. We’ll send you a handful of interesting Cincinnati stories every morning. Subscribe now to not miss a thing.

Follow us: Google News | NewsBreak | Reddit | Instagram | Facebook | Twitter

About The Author

Ken Schneck, The Buckeye Flame

Ken Schneck, The Buckeye Flame

Scroll to read more Ohio News articles


Join CityBeat Newsletters

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.