S.A.G.E aims to educate about transgender rights in wake of South Carolina’s anti-transgender legislation

Students Advocating Gender Equality (S.A.G.E) hosted a tabling event on Prince Lawn to bring attention to anti-transgender legislation in South Carolina and issues involving the transgender community. 

The current bill in the SC House advocates against language allowing doctors and physicians to discriminate against transgender youth, said Sage Short, co-president of S.A.G.E. Short said a lot of transgender people experience healthcare insecurity, and the bill would only make the situation worse. 

“Having a bill that would protect doctors and physicians who are transphobic would make life a lot harder for trans people and nonbinary people,” Short said. 

Going to the doctors can be a scary experience for people, especially when they are not from the area, said Hazel Gillette, co-president of S.A.G.E.  

“Cause it’s kind of scary going into a place and not knowing; trying to do your research and you can’t always tell,” Gillette said. “I’m from up north so coming down here, it’s very nerve-wracking.” 

According to the South Carolina State House official website, the proposed bill is titled the Medical Ethics and Diversity Act. The bill’s description states it aims to preserve the right of conscience for doctors and physicians, allowing these professionals to not perform, participate, or pay for a healthcare service they disagree with from a personal, religious or ethical standpoint. 

Short said this bill can be very harmful because transgender people already struggle to find healthcare. 

S.A.G.E. provided information on campus March 15. Students could stop by the group’s table and learn about the bill, the issue, and how they can support the transgender community. 

“I think everybody deserves healthcare regardless of who they are,” Short said.