Yesterday, June 2nd, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis asked the Florida Board of Medicine to ban gender-affirming care for Florida youth. The state is also working to ban Medicaid coverage for all gender-affirming care.
The Florida Department of Health issued a guidance memo on the treatment of gender dysphoria for children and adolescents on April 20, 2022.
Our response from April is below. We continue to stand by it.
In this memo, the Department of Health relies on outdated and poor-quality research to advise that transgender children and youth in the state of Florida should not have access to social or medical transition. Gender-affirming care saves lives. QueerDoc continues to stand in support of Florida youth.
This is cruel, unscientific, and not evidence-based medicine. In fact, current studies indicate that desistance among trans adolescents who receive care is extremely low. Other studies have shown improved safety and mental health, including suicidal thoughts (see our list of studies at the end of this article.)
The current body of evidence strongly supports affirming care for youth with gender dysphoria. Current clinical guidelines that support gender-affirming care have been endorsed by all of the major medical policy organizations in the United States, including:
- American Academy of Pediatrics
- The Endocrine Society
- The Pediatric Endocrine Society
- American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
- American Academy of Family Physicians
- American Academy of Pediatrics
- American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
- American College of Physicians
- American Medical Association
- American Osteopathic Association
- American Psychiatric Association
- American Public Health Association.
For our patients in Florida, we want you to know that:
This guidance memo IS NOT LAW.
Gender-affirming care is STILL LEGAL in Florida for both youth and adults.
We are not changing our practices or our care at this time.
In the event that Florida (or any other state we see youth in) criminalizes gender-affirming care for youth,
we are working to create policies and procedures that will allow for continued care.
We intend to continue providing care.
If gender-affirming care for youth (or adults) is banned in any state we practice in, we will work to ensure that our patients can continue to receive care.
Our plans in progress:
Patients will need to be physically in a state where we are licensed to practice medicine for their appointments. For Florida youth, this will mean traveling out of state.
We understand that this may pose a significant financial burden to our patients and their families. For these patients, we will open up our scholarship fund to cover travel for the patient and one caregiver to attend appointments. Please contact your provider for more information.
Our work to provide uninterrupted care is dependent on funding. The current balance of donated funds is paying for a grant writer so that we may have a more sustainable fund. Please consider donating to our scholarship fund to support Florida youth and other patients with financial barriers to gender-affirming care.
Current Evidence Supporting Gender-Affirming Care for Youth:
We have sorted roughly by date, with the most recent articles first.
Tordoff, D. M., Wanta, J. W., Collin, A., Stephney, C., Inwards-Breland, D. J., Ahrens, K. (2022) Mental Health Outcomes in Transgender and Nonbinary Youths Receiving Gender-Affirming Care. JAMA Network Open, 5(2), e220978.
Turban JL, King D, Carswell JM, Keuroghlian AS. Pubertal Suppression for Transgender Youth and Risk of Suicidal Ideation [published correction appears in Pediatrics. 2021 Apr;147(4):]. Pediatrics. 2020;145(2):e20191725. doi:10.1542/peds.2019-1725
Green, A. E., DeChants, J. P., Price, M. N., & Davis, C. K. (2021). Association of gender-affirming hormone therapy with depression, thoughts of suicide, and attempted suicide among transgender and nonbinary youth. Journal of Adolescent Health.
de Lara, D. L., Rodríguez, O. P., Flores, I. C., Masa, J. L. P., Campos-Muñoz, L., Hernández, M. C., & Amador, J. T. R. (2020). Psychosocial assessment in transgender adolescents. Anales de Pediatría (English Edition), 93(1), 41-48.
Kaltiala, R., Heino, E., Työläjärvi, M., & Suomalainen, L. (2020). Adolescent development and psychosocial functioning after starting cross-sex hormones for gender dysphoria. Nordic Journal of Psychiatry, 74(3), 213-219.
Achille, C., Taggart, T., Eaton, N. R., Osipoff, J., Tafuri, K., Lane, A., & Wilson, T. A. (2020). Longitudinal impact of gender-affirming endocrine intervention on the mental health and well-being of transgender youths: preliminary results. International Journal of Pediatric Endocrinology, 2020(1), 1-5.
Hodax JK, Wagner J, Sackett-Taylor AC, Rafferty J, Forcier M. Medical Options for Care of Gender Diverse and Transgender Youth. J Pediatr Adolesc Gynecol. 2020 Feb;33(1):3-9. doi: 10.1016/j.jpag.2019.05.010. Epub 2019 May 30. PMID: 31154017.
Kuper, L. , L. E., Stewart, S., Preston, S., Lau, M., & Lopez, X. (2020). Body dissatisfaction and mental health outcomes of youth on gender-affirming hormone therapy. Pediatrics, 145(4).
Allen, L. R., Watson, L. B., Egan, A. M., & Moser, C. N. (2019). Well-being and suicidality among transgender youth after gender-affirming hormones. Clinical Practice in Pediatric Psychology, 7(3), 302.
Kimberly LL, Folkers KM, Friesen P, Sultan D, Quinn GP, Bateman-House A, Parent B, Konnoth C, Janssen A, Shah LD, Bluebond-Langner R, Salas-Humara C. Ethical Issues in Gender-Affirming Care for Youth. Pediatrics. 2018 Dec;142(6):e20181537. doi: 10.1542/peds.2018-1537. Epub 2018 Nov 6. PMID: 30401789.
Wiepjes CM, Nota NM, de Blok CJM, et al. The Amsterdam Cohort of Gender Dysphoria Study (1972-2015): trends in prevalence, treatment, and regrets. J Sex Med. 2018;15(4):582-590.
Simone Mahfouda, Julia K Moore, Aris Siafarikas, Florian D Zepf, Ashleigh Lin, Puberty suppression in transgender children and adolescents, The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology, Volume 5, Issue 10, 2017, Pages 816-826, ISSN 2213-8587, https://doi.org/10.1016/S2213-8587(17)30099-2
De Vries, A. L., McGuire, J. K., Steensma, T. D., Wagenaar, E. C., Doreleijers, T. A., & Cohen-Kettenis, P. T. (2014). Young adult psychological outcome after puberty suppression and gender reassignment. Pediatrics, 134(4), 696-704.
de Vries AL, Steensma TD, Doreleijers TA, Cohen-Kettenis PT. Puberty suppression in adolescents with gender identity disorder: a prospective follow-up study. J Sex Med. 2011 Aug;8(8):2276-83. doi: 10.1111/j.1743-6109.2010.01943.x. Epub 2010 Jul 14. PMID: 20646177.