As organizations committed to serving the best interests of all young people, we are deeply alarmed by the torrent of bills introduced in state legislatures and in Congress this year that would directly harm transgender people, and in particular to transgender youth. These appalling proposals would jeopardize the safety and well-being of the young people we all have a duty and obligation to support and protect.
All young people in our country deserve equal protection and treatment when they access health care, attend school and participate in extracurricular activities, including sports. These anti-transgender bills promote discrimination and harm students, their families and their communities.
Since state legislatures began meeting this year, we’ve already seen more than 65 bills introduced to deny transgender youth access to gender-affirming medical treatment, barring them from participating in sports teams. consistent with their gender identity and denying them access to spaces of sexual segregation. which include toilets and changing rooms. Similar legislation is even being pushed through the US Congress.
The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), America’s largest civil rights organization working for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality, is alarmed by the wave of anti-transgender laws being proposed across the country. We found that less than a quarter of transgender and heterosexual youth may be themselves in school and that only sixteen percent of transgender and heterosexual youth feel safe at school. Every child deserves equal access to education, to success in school, and to a future in which they are empowered to realize their true potential, and these laws contravene this fundamental principle, which has long guided our country’s education policy.
Transgender youth are already at increased risk of violence, bullying and harassment. Additionally, students who would be affected by these bills are among the most vulnerable to depression and self-harm, including suicide. These bills exacerbate those risks by creating an unwelcoming and hostile environment in places where students should feel most secure and supported. Research has shown that when transgender youth have access to gender-affirming services, skilled care, and affirmation, their risk for depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues is dramatically reduced.
We oppose proposals that harm transgender youth, including limiting access to medically necessary and best-practice care, prohibiting students from using toilets at school in accordance with their gender identity, and preventing young transgender people play sports with their peers. On behalf of our members and communities, we call on lawmakers across the country to reject these harmful measures.
American Academy of Pediatrics
American Association of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education
American Association of School Librarians
American Consulting Association
American Public Health Association
American Association of School Counselors
American School Health Association
Association of Title IX directors
Child Welfare League of America
Mental health America
National Association for College Admission Council
National Association of School Nurses
National Association of School Psychologists
National Association of Heads of Secondary Schools
National Association of Social Workers
National Association of Education
Society of Pediatric Nurses
School Social Work Association of America