Post submitted by former Editorial Producer, Print and Digital Media Rokia Hassanein
In a new policy statement, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) called for inclusive care and supportive policies for transgender and gender-diverse youth.
In its statement, the AAP noted that transgender youth are underserved when seeking care and underscored the need for more training for providers and health care professionals so that transgender youth and their families get the support they need.
Ellen Kahn, the director of HRC’s Children, Youth & Families program, applauded AAP’s statement.
“This statement by the American Academy of Pediatrics further reinforces the medical and moral imperative to support transgender and gender diverse youth,” Kahn said. “Embracing, loving and protecting transgender and gender-diverse youth can be life-affirming and life-saving. Pediatricians have a critical role to play in both providing care to patients and in advocating for protections that support the mental and physical health of the public, and the AAP’s statement continues their long record of supporting the health of all youth.”
This policy statement comes on the heels of harrowing statistics from a recent AAP study, which revealed alarming levels of attempted suicide among transgender youth -- with the highest rates among transgender boys and non-binary youth.
Keisha Michaels, who’s a member of HRC’s Parents for Transgender Equality, said the AAP policy statement is a step forward in protecting transgender youth from discrimination.
“As a proud parent of a transgender child and a pediatrician, I’m committed to helping other families love and accept their children and family members who are gender diverse as they are. Full stop. This new AAP policy will help end the stigma and lack of knowledge which lead to discrimination in health care, particularly for children,” Michaels said.
Within the LGBTQ community, transgender people can face an significant degree of discrimination and bias, especially in health care. Fortunately, in addition to the work being done by HRC and many other organizations to end these harmful practices, there are many resources to help transgender people get the equitable care free from discrimination. Check some of them out here.