by HRC Staff •
Jackson, Mississippi — The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) — the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) civil rights organization — condemned the Mississippi Senate’s passage of HB 1125 – legislation that Gov. Tate Reeves is expected to sign into law to ban gender affirming care – including mental health care for children – in the state.
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.
This law - which also purports to penalize those who “aid and abet” transgender young folks in their pursuit of best-practice, medically-necessary care - is one of many efforts political extremists and national anti-LGBTQ+ organizations have launched in Mississippi and across the country against transgender youth and their families. 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. Unfortunately, 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 Mississippi at risk.
Human Rights Campaign Mississippi State Director Rob Hill issued the following statement today:
“Politicians who don’t have an ounce of medical training are interfering with our rights as parents and acting as if they know how to raise and support our children better than we do. Attacking transgender Mississippians and those who support and care for them will not solve any problems or make life easier for working folks in this state. The only thing it will accomplish is to further demonize and alienate transgender kids, an already vulnerable group of young folks, by denying them not only medical care, but mental health care. Mississippi deserves better than this race to the bottom on anti-transgender extremism.”
“Age-appropriate, best practice gender affirming care is supported by the American Medical Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and all relevant experts. These are deeply personal decisions that should be left up to families and their doctors – not politicians who lack even basic medical training.”
Less than two months into 2023, HRC is already tracking more than 340 anti-LGBTQ+ bills that have been introduced in statehouses across the country. 150 of those would specifically restrict the rights of transgender people, the highest number of bills targeting transgender people in a single year to date.
So far this year, HRC is tracking:
90 bills that would prevent trans youth from being able to access age-appropriate, medically-necessary, best-practice health care; two have already become law, in Utah and South Dakota.
More bathroom ban bills filed than in any previous year,
And 28 anti-LGBTQ+ bills which have passed at least one chamber, 10 of which specifically target the transgender community.
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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