"We Strongly Urge the West Virginia Senate to Oppose This Legislation and Stop the Attacks on Transgender Children"
CHARLESTON, WV – Today, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) civil rights organization, condemns the West Virginia House for passing House Bill 2007, a bill that will ban age appropriate, life-saving, medically necessary care to transgender youth under the age of 18.
This law is one of many dangerous efforts far right political extremists and national anti-LGBTQ+ organizations have launched in West Virginia and across the country against transgender youth and their families. Bolstered by disinformation spread by social media and designed to take aim at care for transgender youth, these bans directly place the health, safety and wellbeing of transgender youth in West Virginia at risk.
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.
In response, Cathryn Oakley, HRC’s State Legislative Director and Senior Counsel released the following statement:
“Lawmakers in statehouses across the country are doubling down on attacks against transgender youth, and embarking on a reckless disinformation campaign to justify harmful policies to prevent transgender children from being able to access age-appropriate, medically-necessary and scientifically supported care. Denying transgender and non-binary youth – an extremely vulnerable group already – access to best-practice care is dangerous, spiteful, and flies in the face of the recommendations of every major medical group in this country.
"Parents, doctors, and transgender youth together discuss possible care and make the deeply individualized decision about what kind of care is most appropriate for each young person. Politicians with no medical training and no real understanding of the harmful impact these bans have on transgender people should have no say in how best practice, age appropriate care is delivered. Legislators ignored hours of testimony from medical providers and West Virginians asking them not to pass this bill. We strongly urge the West Virginia Senate to oppose this legislation and stop the attacks on transgender children.”
Last year alone, politicians in statehouses across the country introduced 315 discriminatory anti-LGBTQ+ bills in 2022 and 29 passed into law. The majority of the discriminatory bills – 149 bills – targeted the transgender and non-binary community, with the majority targeting children receiving the brunt of discriminatory legislation. This week, Utah Governor Spencer Cox signed Senate Bill 16 – the first anti-LGBTQ+ law signed into law in 2023 – that will also effectively ban the provision of gender affirming care to transgender patients under the age of 18.
THE FACTS ABOUT GENDER AFFIRMING CARE
“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.
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.
Therapists, parents and health care providers work together to determine which changes to make at a given time that are in the best interest of the child.
None of this care is irreversible.
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.
Supported by all major medical organizations
Made in consultation with medical and mental health professionals AND parents
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.
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.
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