Access to Care for Trans Youth

October 27, 2021

Access to gender-affirming care is a matter of life and death for trans* youth. Puberty blockers and hormone replacement therapy have been used for decades to safely treat gender dysphoria in youth, and have been shown to greatly improve the mental health and wellbeing of these youth. These treatment options are used to support and affirm an individual’s gender identity, help resolve gender dysphoria, and avoid negative impacts of nontreatment. The suicide rate among transgender youth is shamefully high, and we must ensure that all transgender youth have access to medically necessary transition-related care.

Decisions about medical necessity should be made between youth, their doctors and care team, and families. Major medical associations, including the American Medical Association, the American Psychiatric Association, and American Academy of Pediatrics support comprehensive care for transgender youth and oppose efforts to ban their access to care. There is no role for politicians, the media, or private companies to second-guess these decisions, which are based on accepted standards of care. Efforts to stop health care providers from delivering gender-affirming care prioritizes fear-based misinformation and harmful narratives over scientific and evidence-based treatment. These attacks deny transgender youth of their humanity and safety to live healthy and happy lives. 

Read the statement from the United States Professional Association for Transgender Health (USPATH) and the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH) here.