Transgender and nonbinary youth are often subject to violence, harassment and discrimination. They have also faced significant barriers to receiving affirming and competent health care. Providing gender-affirming care to our transgender youth is clinically sound and socially just. Delaying such care can result in significant harm to physical and mental health and exacerbate exposure to violence and bullying. Health care providers can and should care for transgender youth by supporting their social, legal and medical transition.
Recent legislation in Arkansas now makes it illegal for health care providers in that state to offer life-saving, gender-affirming care to transgender and gender-nonconforming youth. This legislation represents a direct assault on some of the youngest and most vulnerable members of an already-marginalized community. It also directly attacks the sacred relationship between providers and their patients. Sadly, similar laws are being considered in several of our neighboring states.
Rush joins the Association of American Medical Colleges in condemning these attempts to limit access and dictate intimate health care decisions. We remain committed to caring for all members of the LGBTQ+ community. Since January of 2020, the most visible manifestation of that commitment has been Affirm: The Rush Center for Gender, Sexuality and Reproductive Health.
Affirm’s holistic approach to support builds on Rush’s existing commitment to excellence in care and helps connect patients to providers who can offer affirming services and bridge gaps in care that LGBTQ+ patients experience. Affirm services can be accessed through the Rush website at www.rush.edu/lgbtq, or through our hotline: (833) 624-LGBT (5428).