Sioux City mom angry over youth transgender law in Iowa, impact it has on daughter
"The idea that she will have to stop her meds and then possibly restart is traumatic." Imagine having to tell your child they have to stop being who they are. That is the reality for Jessica Nutz after the Iowa Legislature passed a ban on transgender therapy for those under the age of 18.
"She's been through a lot to get to this point to get to this decision." Jessica's 17-year-old daughter came out as transgender two years ago. She began hormone therapy in August. "By being on the medication, it's preventing a lot of the typical male characteristics and I know that her biggest fear is as soon as she goes off those are all going to start back up again."
Her daughter did a year of therapy before beginning hormone treatment. Mental health she says is a big aspect of beginning treatment and being transgender.
"The number one group that commits suicide, that not just attempts, achieves suicide are transgender youth." Now she's worried this new law will harm transgender youth statewide.
"Within one year of working and being on medication and being with a therapist, a transgender youth is 70% less likely to commit suicide." Nutz has seen a transformation in her daughter since she not only came out to her family but began hormone therapy.
"The changes I've seen in her from working with her therapists from her coming out. It's amazing. You know, she's more open of a person, she's more outgoing. Now that she knows who she is and that she can be who she is, the impact this is going to have on their mental health now," she said. "We don't have the resources in Iowa."
READ MORE: Gov. Reynolds OK's gender-affirming care ban for minors, says it's 'best for Iowa kids'
Her daughter turns 18 in July. Other Iowa families with transgender youth have a much longer fight ahead for their children.
"These are just kids they're learning who they are and you have to support them. And so much is going on in their body right now. That if you can pause by taking a pill until they are for sure. If they were to change their mind. Okay, fine, her puberty would just restart and go back and start growing the facial hair and start getting the Adam's Apple again," Nutz said. "You know, they're just learning and all they need is love. They don't need any more hate. There's so much hate. And there's so much anger in the world right now."
Nutz believes our state leaders didn't truly listen to families who would be impacted by this law. "They don't understand that process. It's not just you can't just go to the doctor and be like, hey, so my kid thinks that he's a she. So here let's get a prescription the same day. It's not like that. It's all a process. And she's an individual. She knows who she is. She knows who she wants to be. And to have somebody come into our lives to say nope, sorry. You really don't know who you are. Is difficult."
She just wants her daughter to be able to live the life she dreams of. Even if that means leaving Iowa all together.
South Dakota has already banned gender-affirming care for those under 18 and Nebraska has a bill moving through the unicameral now that would do the same.
"There's enough hate. You don't need to add any more."
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