On 1/31, our legislators will try to pass legislation that will prevent trans Tennesseans – specifically trans youth – from accessing supportive, gender-affirming healthcare.
SB 1/ HB 1 would allow for an outright ban on any medically necessary care for trans youth, force trans youth who are in the process of transitioning to detransition, and criminalize parents for exercising their fundamental right to guide the healthcare of their families, despite research that shows that transgender youth who are affirmed and supported do better in school, feel safer in their communities, establish healthy relationships with their parents and peers, and are better equipped to plan for their future.
Multiple studies have shown that denying trans young people this support increases their likelihood of dropping out of school, increases their risk for substance use, worsens symptoms of depression and anxiety, and gravely increases their risk for suicide.
Medical and mental health professionals agree this care is safe, effective, and necessary. Bans don’t create more options for care, bans take away the only evidence-based option for helping trans youth.
Families and their doctors should be making these decisions – not politicians.
When trans youth are affirmed in their gender through supportive families and medical providers, they are able to have healthy, happy, and fulfilling lives. And trans youth deserve the same chance to thrive as their peers.