Release: Ohio representatives to introduce legislation threatening medical care for transgender youth

If you are the parent of a transgender child and want to get involved, please email grant@equalityohio.org.

Today, State Representatives Ron Hood and  Bill Dean are scheduled to stand with Citizens for Community Values and announce the most extreme attack on transgender youth since Citizens for Community Values’ last attempt at legislating transgender children into non-existence.

The bill ignores the fundamental reality of medical care for transgender youth. Current best medical care practices involve a holistic approach to each individual including a multidisciplinary team and affirming care. Occasionally, puberty is delayed until young people are old enough to make their own decisions about their lived gender.

Scott Leibowitz, MD, Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist & Medical Director of Behavioral Health THRIVE Gender Development Program, Nationwide Children’s Hospital: “These types of legislative efforts pit the Hippocratic oath against the law, something that no medical or other healthcare professional should have to choose between. Evidence-based policy statements and clinical guidelines––published by every mainstream pediatric medical professional association––speak for themselves and are paving the path for minors to receive care that promotes the healthy outcomes the youth deserve.​”

Kaleidoscope Youth Center Executive Director Erin Upchurch, MSSA, LISW-S: “This bill is not about protecting families or youth. It blatantly perpetuates oppression, marginalization, and discrimination against transgender and non-binary youth; and encourages a harmful and devastating practice that centers ideas and beliefs over the actual lives of young people. Questioning, navigating, and/or exploring gender identity; identity in general, is a natural space of child and adolescent development. Young people in this space are not a threat to themselves or others; and should be supported with the best practices of affirmation and care.”

Alana Jochum, executive director, Equality Ohio: “Kids have it hard enough without Ohio House Representatives Hood and Dean invading their pediatrician’s appointment. Here’s what I know about youth: They have the best environment to thrive when they are supported and can get the health care they need. Instead, this bill promises burden and harassment.”  

James Knapp, chair, TransOhio: “Every year, TransOhio partners with hospitals and local physicians to provide cultural competency training to medical students and to discuss current best practices for transgender and nonbinary patients. This bill does nothing to protect our youth. Instead, it takes important decision-making power out of the hands of young patients, their parents, and their doctors, and gives it to politicians who do not understand their health concerns or needs. TransOhio stands with trans and nonbinary youth.”

Experts routinely suggest best practice medical care and support to transgender youth. Lacking this care, youth can experience depression, social isolation and more.