Today, the HRC Foundation released a letter from more than 1,000 parents and caregivers of transgender and non-binary youth from all 50 states thanking gender-affirming care providers for their compassion, commitment and care for these young people. The letter was organized by HRC’s Parents for Transgender Equality Council, a coalition of the nation’s leading parent-advocates working for equality and fairness for transgender people.
“As attacks targeting transgender and non-binary children increase -- not only by the Trump-Pence administration, but also by frauds promoting alarming lies and fake science that will end up harming LGBTQ children -- it is more important than ever that providers stand up for the children and young people in their care,” said Ellen Kahn, HRC Foundation Director of the Children, Youth & Families Program. “We applaud these professionals who, even when under attack for the lifesaving services they provide, remain steadfast in their commitment to ensuring that appropriate and affirming care is available to transgender and non-binary young people.”
In their letter, the parents and caregivers, speaking for the thousands of families of transgender and non-binary children nationwide, write, “Affirmative care is life-saving care. We know, because we have seen it with our own children. We thank you for remaining firm in your commitment to do right by all patients, especially in the current political climate where politicians and anti-LGBTQ extremists are trying to dictate the health and wellbeing of our children. Some would like to see our kids disappear, to retreat into the closet and not live as boldly and unapologetically as they do. Transgender children do exist in large numbers; they aren’t going anywhere. And neither will we. We stand with you, as well as our youth.”
Gender-expansive youth who do not receive gender-affirming support or are forced to hide their gender identities risk experiencing elevated mental health risks including depression, anxiety, self-harm and suicide. These realities are underscored by the troubling statistics from HRC's Gender-Expansive Youth Report, which revealed that 97% of gender-expansive youth have trouble sleeping at night, and 85% report their average stress level as “5” or higher on a 1 to 10 scale. Equally alarming are the disproportionate rates of reported sexual assault and sexual harassment among gender-expansive youth compared to their cisgender peers -- 69% of gender-expansive youth report they have been targets of unwanted sexual comments, jokes and gestures.
Additionally, a recent survey by HRC and the University of Connecticut of more than 12,000 LGBTQ youth found that 50 percent of transgender, non-binary or otherwise non-cisgender youth never use the restroom in school because they are prevented from using facilities that align with their gender identity, which leads to negative physical and mental health outcomes.
To read the full letter, click here.