Daughter of Montana lawmaker addresses her mom’s comments about anti-trans youth bill

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The child of a Montana lawmaker who said she’d rather risk her suicide than help her transition has spoken out about her mother’s statements.

Ashley Crowe is the daughter of Republican state Rep. Kerri Seekins-Crowe. The 31-year-old recently posted a TikTok video alongside her partner challenging the comments her mother made in support of a Montana bill that would ban gender-affirming care for trans and youth.

“One of the big issues that we have heard today and we’ve talked about lately is that without surgery the risk of suicide goes way up,” Seekins-Crowe said last month as SB 99 was being considered by lawmakers.

“Well, I am one of those parents who lived with a daughter who was suicidal for three years. Someone once asked me, ‘Would I just do anything to help save her?’” she continued. “And I really had to think and the answer was, ‘No.’

“I was not going to give in to her emotional manipulation, because she was incapable of making those decisions and I had to make those decisions for her,” she added. “I was not going to let her tear apart my family.”

In the since-deleted social media post, Crowe said that the story her mother referenced is “over a decade old.”

“This is not how I imagined my five minutes of fame,” Crowe said, noting that she had just returned from deployment. “This is something that was quite interesting to come back to.”

She added: “I am not trans. My brother is not trans. And I am very much alive and well.

“I am doing very well mentally, emotionally, physically, spiritually healthy, getting better every day.”

SB 99 was signed by Gov. Greg Gianforte last week. Supporters of trans rights worry about the negative impact it could have on adolescent mental health.

Studies show that the risk of depression among the group significantly decreases when trans-youth are granted access to puberty blockers and other transitioning methods. As of Wednesday, 18 states have passed laws blocking minors from age-appropriate gender-affirming treatments.

Experts do not typically recommend that people under 18 undergo gender-reassignment surgery, though other treatment options are available to help address gender dysphoria.

At a press conference Monday, Seekins-Crowe claimed that social media took her comments out of context and that she has faced death threats.

“I would not let [Crowe] do things that were destructive to her behavior because she needed help,” the Billings representative said. “I did everything for my daughter. It was a struggle, but we made it together.”

As a teenager, Crowe attempted to embark on an international swimming career. At the time, her parents appeared to be supportive of her decisions.

By the time she was 15, she was considered to be one of the best long-distance swimmers in the nation for her age division.

“I would love to go to the trials for the 2012 Olympics in London,” she told the Billings Gazette roughly 16 years ago.

Crowe did not elaborate on the current status of her relationship with her mother in the video posted about her mother’s remarks.

According to a survey conducted by The Trevor Project, a nonprofit focused on suicide prevention for 2S-LGBTQIA+ youth, minors who are transgender, nonbinary and people of color reported higher rates of considering suicide in the past year than their peers.

Young people with access to affirming homes and schools were less likely to attempt suicide.

Kasey Suffredini, vice president of advocacy and government affairs at The Trevor Project, said that the country is experiencing a public health crisis in regard to policies directly impacting LGBTQIA+ children like SB 99.

“Our government must work from the top down to curb risk factors like violence and discrimination and increase access to essential health care, safe schools and support systems,” he said.

“Yet, far too many lawmakers at the state level are working overtime to push a dangerous political agenda that will jeopardize young lives.”

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