Flickr: Ted Eytan
Flickr: Ted Eytan

In a massive blow to trans rights, Florida’s Board of Medicine has voted to consider banning gender-affirming care for trans youth. 

Over the last couple of years, the state of Florida has been home to some of the United States’ most harmful anti-LGBTQ+ legislation. 

In 2021, Governor Ron DeSantis banned transgender girls and women from competing in school sports.

His crusade against the LGBTQ+ community continued earlier this year when he signed the archaic ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill into law.

Now the state’s Board of Medicine has targeted trans youth and their health care.

According to a report from The Independent, the governor-appointed board voted on 5 August to implement new rules that would effectively ban gender-affirming care for trans youth. 

With the vote officially cast, the proposed guidelines would ban treatments such as puberty blockers and hormone therapy while also forcibly detransitioning trans youth. 

During the tense gathering, various medical professionals and LGBTQ+ activists slammed the board for their misguided decision.

“This has been pushed to you, the board, as a political maneuver. Trans people have always existed. They will always exist. Whether you choose to acknowledge (them) doesn’t change that,” said Dr Michael Haller, Chief of Pediatric Endocrinology at the University of Florida (per Politico).  

I Am Jazz star Jennette Jennings echoed similar sentiments and revealed that her trans daughter wouldn’t be alive without gender-affirming care. 

“She knew with her heart and soul that she was a girl. Transgender children are at risk – 40 to 50 percent will attempt suicide,” she said as reported by Local 10. 

“When you say to them, ‘You can’t wear this, you can’t wear that, there (are) no doctors that will treat you,’ they become suicidal.”

The medical board’s decision to consider banning gender-affirming care stemmed from a June memo drafted by Florida’s Surgeon General Joseph Ladapo. 

In the document, the conservative official urged the state’s medical board to consider the ban while also making widely debunked claims regarding the life-saving treatments, as reported by NBC News.

“I recommend against certain pharmaceutical, non-pharmaceutical and surgical treatments for gender dysphoria,” Ladapo wrote.

The horrific letter also cited the state’s Department of Health and their similar transphobic guidance report from April – which condemned the social and medical transition of trans youth.

In a recent deep dive report from Vice, the news outlet found that all 12 citations listed in Ladapo’s memo unsurprisingly presented skewed research findings and information from anti-trans resources. 

Shortly after the news was announced, Human Rights Campaign Legal Director Sarah Warbelow condemned the medical board and Governor Ron De Santis for their “assault on transgender Floridians and their families.”

“Science, medicine, and evidence-based approaches have demonstrated time and time again that transition-related care is medically necessary and life-saving care, and if this proposal is adopted, it will go against the recommendation of every major medical association. The truth matters, and so does protecting Florida’s youth and their families,” she said.

The harmful guidelines could reportedly take several months to implement.