Support Trans Youth
On April 20, 2022, the Florida Department of Health and the State Surgeon General released a statement that attacked the transgender community in Florida with misguided medical propaganda. It specifically targeted youth seeking life-saving and gender-affirming care in our state. This is our response:
Supporting Life-Saving and Gender-Affirming Care for Transgender Children and Adolescents
Opposing “Treatment of Gender Dysphoria for Children and Adolescents” (Florida Department of Health, April 20, 2022)
April 21, 2022
Dear Friends, Colleagues, and Neighbors,
On April 20, 2022, the Florida Department of Health released an inflammatory statement in response to a fact sheet published by the United States Department of Health and Human Services regarding care for transgender children and adolescents. As a consortium of Florida healthcare workers, we felt the need to respond in support of our transgender patients and in opposition to our state government.
Though the evolution of life-saving and gender-affirming care for transgender youth continues, we believe that the focus of the Florida Department of Health should not be to discourage treatment or social support. Instead, in accordance with the American Academy of Pediatrics, the state should support transgender, gender non-binary, and gender non-conforming youth by:
Prioritizing social support of children and adolescents by peers, family, and mental health providers. This is in accordance with clear evidence that these activities reduce the risk for suicide and supports overall mental health stability.
Encouraging further research to identify best practices for social transition of adolescents.
Acknowledging that any decisions regarding gender reassignment surgery should be personalized to each individual and family through consultation with their trusted caregivers and not pre-determined by the Florida Department of Health.
Most importantly, the Florida Department of Health’s statement should not be weaponized by insurance agencies, healthcare institutions, or medical professionals to refuse initiation of or cease ongoing care for transgender youth in the state of Florida. Parents, families, and patients should be encouraged to seek out expert guidance from their trusted care team rather than depend on the government of the State of Florida for direction.
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