Why are lawmakers trying to ban gender-affirming care for trans kids? Mississippi Today’s Molly Minta talks with Jensen Luke Matar, the director of the nonprofit TRANS Program, about gender-affirming care, what it is and what it is not, and why powerful lawmakers are trying to ban it for the small number of trans kids in Mississippi. While lawmakers say they’re trying to protect kids, Matar says this effort will lead to higher rates of suicide and poor mental health.


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Molly Minta covers higher education for Mississippi Today. She works in partnership with Open Campus, a nonprofit news organization focused on investigating higher education. Originally from Melbourne Beach, Florida, Molly reported on public housing and prosecutors in her home state and worked as a fact-checker at The Nation before joining Mississippi Today. Her story on Mississippi's only class on critical race theory was a finalist for the Education Writers Association National Awards for Education Reporting in 2023 in the feature reporting category.