With at the introduction of at least 117 bills targeting the transgender community, 2021 is shaping up to be the worst year in modern history for anti-LGBTQ state legislation. Many of these bills target transgender and non-binary youth by making it illegal to access or provide gender affirming medical care and denying the best equipped healthcare providers the ability to provide appropriate care for the trans community. This will result in wasteful spending, increased healthcare costs and worse outcomes.
Gender affirming care is an essential component of inclusive, comprehensive transgender health care. According to the Trevor Projects’ 2020 National Survey on LGBTQ Youth Mental Health, more than half of transgender and nonbinary youth have seriously considered suicide. Conversely, affirming gender identity among transgender and nonbinary youth is consistently associated with lower rates of suicide attempts.
While we are fortunate to live in a jurisdiction that is not considering similar legislation, bills like this impact young people in our region. Trans youth are tuned in, and they hear these conversations questioning the very validity of their identities and existence.
We believe that all people deserve high-quality health care and compassionate, nonjudgmental health information, no matter what. Following the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia (May 17th), we ask that you reach out to loved ones across the country and have a conversation to help move the issue out of a political debate and into a conversation about the lives of real people. Just one conversation can make a huge impact.
- Dr. Oye I. Owolewa, US Representative Washington, DC
- Dr. Laura Meyers, CEO and President, Planned Parenthood of Metropolitan Washington, DC
- Sultan Shakir, Executive Director, Supporting and Mentoring Youth Advocates and Leaders (SMYAL)