HB 2835/SB 2696 is a direct threat to the safety of LGBTQ youth across the state by denying access to life-saving gender affirmation healthcare, revoking their right to privacy, and jeopardizing their mental safety and well-being. Neither of the sponsors of this bill have any experience in the medical field, and as such, are straying dangerously far from modern medical ethics and knowledge when it comes to supporting queer and trans children.
Modern research shows us time and again that trans and gender non-conforming youth have better mental health when they have access to gender-affirming care, and that the lack of it is a risk to their safety, well-being, and even their lives. Being supported medically is lifesaving for trans youth, and this bill fully contradicts the standard of practice observed in the medical field.
LGBTQ youth are already vulnerable to suicidal thoughts and ideation, and denying them safe access to mental and physical health resources further adds to this extreme risk. Along with that, eliminating their right to privacy could lead to a host of issues, including homelessness, abuse, and violence.
Tennessee should be a state where all young people can be themselves and grow up into happy and healthy adults. Passing HB 2835/SB 2696 robs that right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness that all people innately deserve.