Oklahoma City, Oklahoma - On Monday, May 1st, Oklahoma became the latest state to ban transition-related care for transgender young people. Enacted upon passage and approval, Republican Governor Greg Kevin Sitt signed SB 613, a bill that makes providing age-appropriate transition-related care for transgender youth a felony. This law will have a detrimental impact on state employees who work with transgender youth, including health care workers and educators, restricting them from providing treatment for gender dysphoria.
“Transition-related care is safe and essential. Prohibiting transgender youth from obtaining age-appropriate transition-related care is not only irresponsible, but it also goes completely against scientific consensus,” said Leroy Thomas, communications director at the National Center for Transgender Equality. “Bills like SB 613 harm the transgender community by stripping us of our access to life-saving medical care.”
There is broad scientific and medical consensus that age-appropriate transition-related care is both clinically appropriate and medically necessary. A large body of research also shows that transgender youth who receive transition-related health care to treat their gender dysphoria show decreased anxiety, depression, suicidal behavior, and psychological distress, and increased quality of life.
“Everyone deserves the right to make their own decisions about what happens to their bodies.” said Thomas. “Transgender youth deserve privacy to make their own health care decisions with the support of their parents and doctors – and without government overreach.”
SB 613 is one of over 450 anti-transgender bills that have been introduced in legislative bodies across the country this year. These bills have enormous negative impacts on our community, and they deny the reality that trans people of all ages are leading joyous, full, normal lives. Transition-related care helps make those lives possible. Trans people deserve to live joyfully and authentically, and age-appropriate medical care helps so many people to live their best lives.