In his latest campaign video on social media, Vivek Ramaswamy 38, has made clear his position on gender-affirming care for minors. He’s very much against it.
The biotech entrepreneur turned would-be politician is the youngest serious contender for the Republican 2024 nomination. Despite his inexperience in the world of politics, he’s been polling in third place behind Florida Governor Ron DeSantis in recent weeks. He’s appeared keen to appeal to the MAGA base with some of his more extreme views.
In his latest video, Ramaswamy interviews two de-transitioners. One, Chloe Cole, says she thought she was trans when she was around 12. She began to undergo transition procedures, including puberty blockers. She underwent chest surgery at 15. At the age of 16, she began de-transition.
The second one, Katie, says she began to undergo gender-affirming care when she turned 18. She says she did not need to see a therapist for any great length of time before being prescribed hormones. She later underwent a full hysterectomy but now regrets it.
Ramaswamy uses their experiences to call for a full ban on gender-affirming care for minors.
“Ban genital mutilation & puberty blockers before age 18,” he says. “Treat gender dysphoria as a mental health disorder. Courage is contagious. Chloe @ChoooCole and Katie exemplify that for sharing their stories.”
What the video fails to mention is that regret over transitioning is uncommon. A 2021 review of 27 studies, which included around 8,000 people who had undergone gender-affirming surgery, found around 1% expressing regret over their decision. The vast majority were happy.
A range of medical organizations support appropriate gender-affirming care for minors. This includes the likes of the Pediatric Endocrine Society, which said in a 2020 statement, “Medical intervention for transgender youth and adults (including puberty suppression, hormone therapy and medically indicated surgery) is effective, relatively safe (when appropriately monitored), and has been established as the standard of care.”
Ramaswamy’s video was praised by right-wing pundit Matt Walsh, who made the anti-trans documentary, What Is A Woman? Walsh reshared the video with the caption, “Yes, ban them before age 18. And then ban them after age 18.”
Trans issues have become a hot topic for GOP lawmakers over the last couple of years. For example, since 2021, 12 of the 16 southern states have enacted legislation to ban gender-affirming care for minors. Others have attempted to pass such legislation but failed. A couple of states, Florida and Missouri, have gone further and introduced restrictions on some adults receiving such care.
Ramaswamy slips in polls following debate
Despite his youthfulness appealing to some voters, there are signs Ramaswamy’s inexperience is a turn-off to others. The first Emerson poll on GOP candidates following last week’s first nominee debate showed he was not among the winners.
Donald Trump, who did not take part in the debate, fell from 56% to 50%. Nikki Haley went up from 2% to 7%, and Mike Pence from 3% to 7%. Ron DeSantis increased from 10% to 12%. Ramaswamy’s approval rating dipped from 10% to 9%.
Ramaswamy has increasingly been dogged by controversy, including his refusal to condemn 9/11 conspiracy theories.
This week, he also compared Rep. Ayanna Pressley, a Black Democrat representing Massachusetts, to “modern grand wizards” of the Ku Klux Klan. He was responding to comments Pressley made in 2019, saying Democrats don’t “need any more brown faces that don’t want to be a brown voice.”
Ramaswamy even managed to upset one of his heroes: Eminem.
A couple of weeks ago, Ramaswamy attended the Iowa State Fair and decided to treat the audience at a Q&A session to his version of the rapper’s “Lose Yourself”. Variety reports Eminem’s lawyers have now sent Ramaswamy a “cease and desist” letter, asking him not to perform or play the rapper’s songs on the campaign trail.
It comes a few days after a pansexual activist asked Ramaswamy his views on the LGBTQ+ community.
What a surprise… scandal-hit GOP Representative is against trans rights.