QueerDoc provides gender affirming care to youth. We see patients in Florida. We see youth patients in Florida.
The Florida Medical Board is working to ban gender affirming care for individuals under 18. We have sent this letter to our adolescent patients in Florida and their families. We are closely tracking what’s going on and will continue sharing our learnings and resources here on our blog and social media. Please be on the lookout later this week for a suggested comment template and directions on how to submit comments to the board.
Dear Families of Trans Youth,
We are writing to share with you our response to the Florida Board of Medicine’s vote on October 28, 2022, to proceed with rule-making that would ban adolescent gender affirming care.
Our understanding of the rule-making process is as follows:
- The vote on October 28th gave the “go-ahead” for the agency to write a draft rule
- There will be a meeting on November 4, 2022, to accept the proposed rule
- This meeting starts a 28-day comment period
- The final vote on approving the rule will be on December 2, 2022.
- The rule would go into effect sometime in mid- to late-December or in January 2023, barring any court-ordered blocks to the rule.
What This Means Right Now For Our Florida Patients
You can still get care. We recommend that you request a November appointment so that we can plan for continuing care.
Our understanding of the rule is as follows:
- It prohibits individuals under 18 from starting gender affirming care, including blockers, hormones, potentially other prescribed medicines, and surgical procedures.
- It does not stop individuals who are already receiving care but may prohibit them from starting their expected next step before age 18
- We are not sure how this might play out for our existing patients.
Multiple law groups and organizations are working on legal responses to the expected changes in Florida medical regulations. However, it may be some time before the ramifications of these changes are fully understood.
We have been actively advocating for our community with the Florida Medical Board and will continue to do so. A 28-day comment period opens after the November 4th meeting. We will share information on how to submit a comment as soon as we know more. We’ll also write a sample comment and share it with you. Look for updates in your email and on our blog and social media.
As you may know, telehealth laws state that the patient does not need to reside in the state where an appointment occurs, but the appointment must happen in a state where the provider is licensed. One way that we will be able to continue providing care depends on traveling to a state that Dr. Beal is licensed in.
Currently, California is the best option. California has passed a safe harbor law (SB 107) that protects transgender patients who travel to California for healthcare. This law goes into effect on January 1, 2023, and protects both you and Dr. Beal.
Should we need to do so, here’s what we expect will be necessary for continued care if adolescent gender affirming care is banned outright in Florida:
- your youth and one parent or guardian will need to travel to California for appointments
- Blood draws and prescriptions must be obtained while still in California.
We understand that this may pose a significant financial and logistical burden. We are actively working with other organizations to explore ways to lower this burden and will share with you our thoughts and learned resources.
Right now, we know of a fantastic resource, Elevated Access, which is a volunteer group of independent pilots who transport passengers at no cost to access the healthcare they need. Elevated Access may be able to help with transportation, but we cannot guarantee this.
We know this is a scary and stressful time. We will do our best to stay in touch and be transparent about what we know.
Prior blogs include: