The action comes as a bill in South Dakota that would have imposed criminal penalties on doctors for providing affirming, best-practice medical care to transgender and non-binary youth was effectively killed.
Today, more than 1,800 parents of transgender and non-binary children from all 50 U.S. states and Washington D.C. issued an open letter organized by HRC condemning the spate of anti-transgender legislation proposed in legislatures across the country. There are at least 20 bills filed in state legislatures across the country attempting to criminalize or severely limit access to gender-affirming care for transgender and non-binary youth.
“In all 50 states and D.C., parents of transgender and non-binary youth are standing up and making their voices heard. And as we saw in South Dakota, we will make a difference in defeating these abusive bills that attempt to legislate transgender and non-binary people out of existence,” said HRC President Alphonso David. “The proponents of these dangerous bills are spreading misinformation that these parents — more than 1,800 of them — know to be blatantly false. A child’s health care needs should be a conversation had by that child, their family and a medical health provider, consistent with best practices. Lawmakers who want to disrupt that relationship show that they do not care about their constituents or American families, but would rather legislate hatred to rally a small minority of people who seek to harm transgender people.”
The parents, speaking for the thousands of families of transgender and non-binary children across the country, write, “We know better than anyone what our children need in order to thrive: access to best practice, evidence-based gender affirming health care. Such care, administered by qualified professionals, is literally life-saving for our children... We cannot and will not stand by while lawmakers play politics with our children’s lives. It is time for legislatures to stand down on these attacks, and leave the care of our children in our hands and in the hands of our trusted medical providers.”
Research has shown that when gender-expansive youth have access to gender-affirming services, competent care and affirmation, their risk of depression, anxiety and other negative mental health outcomes is greatly reduced. Several medical associations and organizations have spoken out against this legislation, including the American Medical Association, the Hormone Health Network, the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy, the World Professional Association for Transgender Health and the United States Professional Association for Transgender Health.