Former WWE star Gabbi Tuft, who recently came out as trans, has explained why she “would not be here today if it were not for gender-affirming care”.
Tuft, 42, who came out last month, shared that she was “moved to tears” by the wave of anti-trans bills currently sweeping the US, from banning gender-affirming healthcare for minors, to banning trans people from competing in sport as their correct gender.
In a heartfelt Instagram post, Tuft wrote: “I promised to carry the torch and help pave a path for gender equality, and in keeping that promise the time has come to speak up and for take a stand… The knife in my heart is specifically the call to ban gender-affirming care, making it a felony for medical doctors to prescribe hormones and other life saving medications and procedures to transgender individuals.
“I know, beyond a shadow of a doubt that I would not be here today if it were not for gender-affirming care.
“I also know that I still have a long journey ahead of me to complete my transition and the availability of gender-affirming care is the difference in life and death for me.”
Gender-affirming healthcare is vital to trans folk’s mental health, and for some this includes medical transition or surgery. One 2019 study found that transgender people who undergo gender-affirming surgery are significantly less likely to seek mental health treatment than trans people who don’t access gender-affirming surgery.
Gabbi Tuft continued: “Enacting legislation banning gender-affirming care and banning transgender children participating in sports will be a death sentence to some.
“To be trapped in a body of the opposite gender and to attempt to live my life burying my authentic self was the most tortuous era of my life, and I never want another human being to experience this pain.
“Please, I beg you, let the kids play.
“Let parents who know their children better than anyone else on this earth help save their transgender children from a life of pain and suffering as I’ve experienced.
“These are our lives and our choices. These are our basic human rights.
“When government steps in to take away our basic rights and decides to choose for us, we must take action.”
Coming out as trans made WWE star Gabbi Tuft feel ‘liberated’
Gabbi Tuft – who wrestled under the stage name Tyler Reks between 2008 and 2012 – publicly came out as trans in February this year.
She was celebrated by the wrestling world, and told Renee Paquette on her podcast Oral Sessions that she felt “liberated”.
She explained that when she came out, she felt that her “prison sentence was over”, and added: “I don’t have to hide anymore. I can walk outside [and] my neighbours are just waving [and saying] ‘Hi Gabbi’.”
On Friday (19 March), Tuft also revealed that she was taking the next step in her transition journey, sharing in an Instagram story: “Petition to change legal name and sex/ gender marker filed!”