River Valley transgender teen reacts to Gov. Hutchinson vetoing HB1570

KNWA

"It was just an incredible sigh of relief that the voices that were speaking to him mattered."

RIVER VALLEY, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — On Monday, April 5, Governor Asa Hutchinson vetoed HB1570 , which would stop people younger than 18 from receiving healthcare pertaining to gender reassignment.

COURTESY OF JOANNA BRANDT

The governor said he expects to see this veto overridden, but hopes his actions will give lawmakers pause on voting to do so.

KNWA/FOX 24 spoke with a family in the River Valley who this bill would impact if it becomes a law.

HB1570 labeled the “Safe Act” would ban gender reassignment surgeries and hormone supplements for anyone under the age of 18 in the Natural State.

The bill passed the Arkansas Senate and House, but on Monday, April 5, Gov. Hutchinson vetoed it.

He argued this bill could negatively impact young Arkansans, such as 15-year-old Dylan Brandt, already under hormone treatment.

“This is not the right path to put them on,” Gov. Hutchinson said.

Hearing that this bill could have possibly taken that away from me, was really scary.

DYLAN BRANDT, TRANSGENDER TEEN

Dylan was assigned female at birth, but two years ago he came out as trans.

COURTESY OF JOANNA BRANDT

“For the past year, I’ve been working with therapists, and doctors to finally start hormones and everything,” he said.

Dylan started hormones eight months ago.

“That’s been going amazing,” he told KNWA/FOX 24.

Dylan’s mom, Joanna Brandt, said she was angry to see how far this bill has gone.

These people who don’t know my son and don’t know me think that they somehow know better than we do? What’s best for him?

JOANNA BRANDT, DYLAN’S MOM

“I have watched Dylan go through this process and have all this progress,” she said. “He’s doing so incredibly well emotionally, mentally, physically.”

The governor’s announcement gave the Brandts a sigh of relief, but now they hope legislators will follow suit.

“Do what the governor did, take the time to talk to these kids, take the time to talk to and meet transgender people, and parents of transgender kids,” Joanna said. “Get to know their stories, get to know them as people.”

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