Indianapolis, Indiana – Today, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) civil rights organization, condemns Gov. Eric Holcomb for signing Senate Bill 480 into law. The bill is an anti-LGBTQ+ bill that will ban age-appropriate, medically necessary care for transgender youth. Indiana now becomes the twelfth state to enact a law restricting access to gender affirming care.
Gender-affirming care is age-appropriate care that is medically necessary for the well-being of many transgender and non-binary people who experience symptoms of gender dysphoria, or distress that results from having one’s gender identity not match their sex assigned at birth. Gender-affirming care is the integration of medical, mental health and social services. For transgender children, transition is an entirely social process which may include a new name or pronouns, wearing different clothes or styling one’s hair differently. At puberty, doctors may一in consultation with and having the informed consent of the transgender youth and their parents一prescribe reversible medication known as puberty-blockers, which allow a young person to safely reach an age in which they’re truly able to consent to further treatment.
In response, Cathryn Oakley, HRC’s State Legislative Director and Senior Counsel released the following statement:
“Governor Holcomb’s decision to sign this gender-affirming care ban into law is about nothing more than prioritizing politics over the wellbeing of transgender youth in Indiana. This law will deny critical, age appropriate medical care to transgender youth, putting their health and wellbeing at risk. The transgender community is being subjected to a legislative onslaught in states across the country, and it is truly appalling that radical politicians in Indiana are joining in on this harmful campaign that will only make life more difficult for transgender youth and their loved ones. We condemn this heartless attack on transgender youth and urge Governor Holcomb and state lawmakers to reverse course and prioritize the safety of all Hoosiers, including transgender youth. As legislators continue to consider other discriminatory bills, we will continue the fight to ensure that all Hoosiers are treated fairly and equally under the law.”
THE FACTS ABOUT GENDER AFFIRMING CARE
Every credible medical organization – representing over 1.3 million doctors in the United States – calls for age-appropriate gender-affirming care for transgender and non-binary people.
“Transition-related” or “gender-affirming” care looks different for every transgender and non-binary person.
Parents, their kids, and doctors make decisions together, and no medical interventions with permanent consequences happen until a transgender person is old enough to give truly informed consent.
Transgender children are not undergoing irreversible medical changes.
This is a fundamental misunderstanding about what transition looks like for kids.
Therapists, parents and health care providers work together to determine which changes to make at a given time are in the best interest of the child.
Some people take medication, and some do not; some adults have surgeries, and others do not. How someone transitions is their choice, to be made with their family and their doctor.
None of this care is irreversible.
Being transgender is not new.
Some say it can feel like being transgender is very new – but that’s because the media has been covering it more in recent months and years.
But transgender people have always existed and will continue to exist regardless of the bills we pass.
And very few transgender people change their mind.
ALL gender-affirming care is:
Supported by all major medical organizations
Made in consultation with medical and mental health professionals AND parents
And in many cases, this care is lifesaving:
A recent study from the Trevor Project provides data supporting this — transgender youth with access to gender-affirming hormone therapy have lower rates of depression and are at a lower risk for suicide.
So far in 2023, HRC is tracking more than 470 anti-LGBTQ+ bills that have been introduced in statehouses across the country. Approximately 190 of those bills would specifically restrict the rights of transgender people, the highest number of bills targeting transgender people in a single year to date.
This year, HRC is tracking:
More than 110 bills that would prevent trans youth from being able to access age-appropriate, medically-necessary, best-practice health care; seven have already become law, in Arkansas, Tennessee, Mississippi, South Dakota, Utah, Iowa and Georgia,
More bathroom ban bills filed than in any previous year,
More than 85 curriculum censorship bills and 40 anti-drag performance bills.
For more information, please visit https://www.hrc.org/resources/get-the-facts-on-gender-affirming-care
The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people. HRC envisions a world where LGBTQ+ people are embraced as full members of society at home, at work and in every community.
To make a general inquiry, please visit our contact page. Members of the media can reach our press office at: (202) 572-8968 or email email@example.com.