- The Magazine
A Republican state lawmaker in Alabama has been accused of liking a transgender adult performer’s tweet, just a week after voting in favor of a bill to make it a felony for transgender youth under age 19 to receive gender-affirming health care.
Alabama State Sen. Tom Whatley (R-Auburn) allegedly liked an explicit tweet by a Philadelphia-based performer known as “Bambi Blonde” or “Baphomet Barbie,” with the Twitter handle @bblgumbaphomet, whose profile name is listed as “Bambi Hardcore TG 18+,” and describes themself as an “enbi [nonbinary] trans girl faerie princess.” Their Twitter feed includes a host of short “teaser” videos showing transgender women engaged in sexual acts.
According to LGBTQ Nation, Bambi posted a nude picture of their chest with the caption: “Love my new, fat, G-cup tiddies.”
Whatley’s official Twitter account showed up in the list of Twitter users who had “liked” the post, according to a screenshot obtained by the LGBTQ website.
Bambi later tweeted another photo with a caption, in apparent reference to the controversy, reading: “US Senator (sic) approved tiddies and dick.”
LGBTQ Nation claims it asked Whatley why he liked the tweet. He did not respond, but un-liked the tweet in question.
The fact that Whatley — or someone operating his work Twitter account — was allegedly looking at an explicit adult-themed Twitter page on government time may raise some eyebrows in the state, especially since Whatley was one of 23 Republican lawmakers to vote for SB 10, the Senate version of a bill to bar trans youth from receiving gender-affirming care.
The bill would make it a felony — punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a $15,000 fine — for doctors to prescribe puberty blockers or hormones, or recommend gender confirmation surgery (which, in practice, rarely occurs before a person is 18 and considered a legal adult), one any person under age 19.
The Senate bill has since been sent to the House of Representatives, which passed HB 1, its own version of the ban on transition-related care. If the House approves the Senate bill, or the bill goes to conference and gets approved by each chamber, it would then head to Gov. Kay Ivey (R) for her signature into law.
If signed into law, Alabama would become the first state in recent years to explicitly ban access to transgender health care such as puberty blockers, and the only state to ban legal adults (18-year-olds are considered adults, capable of voting, serving in the military, and making other legal decisions, under American law) from accessing medical treatments, even if hormones or surgery are recommended to treat their gender dysphoria.
The bill also contains provisions that would force school officials to “out” transgender students to their parents if a teacher or administrator believes a student is struggling with their gender identity or objects to a student’s failure to conform to gender norms or behaves contrary to traditional gender-based stereotypes.
The Senate version also prevents therapists from providing “talk therapy” to discuss a youth’s feelings of gender dysphoria, while the House version seeks to create an exemption for therapists.
“We don’t want [therapists] affirming that ‘Hey, yeah, you’re right, you should be a boy if you are a born a female,'” Sen. Shay Shelnutt (R-Trussville), the lead sponsor of the bill, said during debate.
Whatley was the senator who had offered an amendment, similar to provisions in the House bill, to exempt counselors from being prosecuted under the law, but when that amendment was defeated, he voted in favor of the bill.
Even though the Senate and House bills condemn puberty blockers as “dangerous and uncontrolled medical experimentation” that can cause “irreversible consequences,” one study from last year showed that transgender youth who receive the drugs — which delay the onset of puberty until a person can determine whether they wish to undergo a gender transition — are at reduced risk of suicidal ideation compared to youth that do not receive puberty blockers.
These are challenging times for news organizations. And yet it’s crucial we stay active and provide vital resources and information to both our local readers and the world. So won’t you please take a moment and consider supporting Metro Weekly with a membership? For as little as $5 a month, you can help ensure Metro Weekly magazine and MetroWeekly.com remain free, viable resources as we provide the best, most diverse, culturally-resonant LGBTQ coverage in both the D.C. region and around the world. Memberships come with exclusive perks and discounts, your own personal digital delivery of each week’s magazine (and an archive), access to our Member's Lounge when it launches this fall, and exclusive members-only items like Metro Weekly Membership Mugs and Tote Bags! Check out all our membership levels here and please join us today!