November is Trans Awareness Month

It’s important to be aware of the trans population every month, not just November.  In the United States, there are laws in certain states such as Texas, that you can go to prison for helping a trans minor obtain surgery, puberty blockers. Texas is not the only state to outlaw care for the young who wish to transition. Arkansas, Alabama, Arizona have passed bills making it illegal for doctors to provide any gender-related care to minors. Recently, Florida’s Medical Boards have banned transgender care for minors. Governor Ron De Santis voted to ban hormones, surgery, and medical care for trans youth. Consequently, The Endocrine Society, a global community of 18000+ endocrine investigators and clinicians from more than 100 countries, has condemned Florida’s ban on Gender-Affirming care for transgender and gender-diverse teenagers.

The battles remain. Should a parent withhold early treatment of his child? Is it unethical or harmful? Does the child need more time to process identity and decide whether to pursue further steps in transition when older?

Transgender Backlash 

According to Thrillist, 290 bills (as opposed to 19 in in 2018) were introduced at both state and federal laws over the past two years.  These were not just for healthcare, but inclusion in sports and use of bathrooms that the trans individual identifies with.

Yet every major U.S. medical association recognizes that gender-affirming healthcare is a medically necessary treatment for dysphoria, discomfort or distress that is caused by a discrepancy between a person’s gender identity and that of a person’s assigned at birth.

The World Professional Association for Transgender Health, the leading transgender health association, has lowered its recommended minimum age for starting gender transition with hormones at age fourteen.  That age is two years earlier than the group’s previous advice. Surgeries, the Association believes, could be done at age fifteen or 17, a year earlier than previous guidance. (Source: AP News)

A Growing Population:  Just How Large?

The 2017-2020 Behavior Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) conducted by the Centers for Disease Control found that:

  • Over 1.6 million adults (ages 18 and older) and youth (ages 13 to 17) identify as transgender in the U.S. or 0.6% of those ages 13 or older.
  • Of those adults, 38.5% are transgender women, 35.9% are transgender men, and 25.6% reported that they are gender-non-conforming.
  • Transgender individuals are younger individuals on the average than the U.S. population. Thirteen to seventeen year-olds are significantly more likely to identify as transgender (1.4%) than adults ages 65 or older.

Despite President Biden’s appointment of trans Rachel Levine as Assistant Secretary of Health and for the first time in U.S. history, openly LGB candidates for public office this election cycle ran in all fifty states, few transgendered adults actually competed. According to the Williams Institute, a law research organization at the University of California, more than 878,300 transgender adults were eligible to vote in the 2022 midterm elections. Two out lesbians won governorships in Massachusetts and Oregon. The LGB group has won more acceptance, but what about the T (transgender)

Trouble with Acceptance 

  • According to the Harvard Law Review, more than 1/3 of transgender high school students, attempt suicide in a given year.
  • The number of trans homicides, mostly of black women, has doubled over the last four years. In 2021, 375 transgender people were murdered.

Sunday, November 20th is Transgender Remembrance Day This Year

There is a vigil ceremony with lit candles to remember all those in the transgender population who have been murdered. There is a worldwide list of people who were killed for being transgender, who they are. Readings of those names will memorialize them.  Look for ways to honor the dead in your community.

When Your Child is Gay

When Your Child Is Gay: What You Need To Know

For more detailed advice, see book, co-authored with a mother of a gay son and a psychiatrist, Jonathan L. Tobkes, M.D.

Wesley Cullen Davidson

Wesley Cullen Davidson is an award-winning freelance writer and journalist specializing in parenting as well as gay and lesbian content. For the past two years, Wesley has concentrated almost exclusively on the lesbian and gay community, specifically on advising straight parents of gay children on how to be better parents and raise happy, well-adjusted adults

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