Joint Statement Opposing State Legislation Targeting Transgender Youth

We, the undersigned, represent a broad coalition of legal and policy experts, women’s advocates, educational associations, civil rights groups, and proponents of equality for all Americans. We strongly oppose proposed legislation that targets transgender youth for mistreatment and discrimination by seeking to ban them from participating in sports or from being able to access best practice medical care in accordance with the recommendations of those they trust.

It is unconscionable that in many states, lawmakers are proposing and passing a wave of dangerous bills that seek to ban transgender youth from participating on K-12 school sports teams and/or from being able to access best practice medical care. Transgender kids already struggle with bullying and mistreatment in schools and discrimination in public spaces and health care. These bills add to the crushing weight of discrimination in housing, public spaces, health care and more that transgender people face in our states and across the country. These bills put vulnerable transgender kids at risk of even more harassment and abuse.

Kids learn a lot of important life lessons in sports: leadership, confidence, self-respect, and what it means to be part of a team. Transgender kids want the opportunity to play sports for the same reason other kids do: to be a part of a team where they feel like they belong. For state lawmakers to discriminate against kids and ban them from playing because they’re transgender denies these kids this vitally important childhood experience and all the lessons it teaches.

Additionally, proposals that seek to ban transgender youth under the age of 18 from receiving best-practice medical care are some of the most extreme attacks on transgender people in recent memory. These bills would criminalize best practice medical care that is backed by the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Medical Association, and other leading health authorities. Doctors and patients, not politicians, should decide what medical care is in the best interest of a patient in accordance with current medical best practices. These bills put the lives and well-being of transgender youth at risk.

According to an October 2020 survey, Black LGBTQ people and LGBTQ people of color are disproportionately affected by discrimination. Black, indigenous, and people of color face discrimination at higher rates than other LGBTQ community members; and preventing bans on best practice medical care or school sports is the least state lawmakers can do to protect our nation’s most vulnerable communities.

State politicians should focus on what matters — containing the pandemic, increasing vaccinations, bolstering the economy, and helping families—rather than targeting transgender youth for harm. Transgender youth, like any young people, thrive when they are treated with dignity and respect. Being a kid is hard enough. We don’t need politicians making it even harder for kids who are transgender and singling them out for increased bullying and harassment. We support a future where no American, especially no young American, is left vulnerable to discrimination because of who they are. Only then will we be closer to an America where all young people can thrive, succeed, contribute their gifts and talents where they can, and make a difference in the world.

Signed,

ADL (the Anti-Defamation League)
Advocates for Youth
Alaskans Together For Equality
American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
American Association of University Women (AAUW)
American Atheists
Athlete Ally
Bay Area Lawyers for Individual Freedom (BALIF)
Bayard Rustin Liberation Initiative
Black Transmen of Ohio
California LGBTQ Health and Human Services Network
Callen-Lorde Community Health Center
Campaign for Southern Equality
Catholics for Choice
Center for American Progress
Center for LGBTQ Economic Advancement & Research (CLEAR)
CenterLink: The Community of LGBT Centers
Chicago Foundation for Women
Children Now
Children’s Advocacy Alliance
Civil Liberties & Public Policy
Clearinghouse on Women’s Issues
Coalition of Labor Union Women
Community Catalyst
CrescentCare
Equality California
Equality Delaware
Equality Federation
Equality New Mexico
Equality Ohio Education Fund
Equality Utah
EverThrive Illinois
Family Equality
Feminist Majority Foundation
Fenway Health
FORGE, Inc.
Freedom for All Americans
Freedom Oklahoma
FreeState Justice, Maryland’s LGBTQ Advocates
Gatlyn Dame Group
Gender Justice
Gender Spectrum
Girls Inc.
Girls on the Run International
GLAAD
GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders (GLAD)
GLMA: Health Professionals Advancing LGBTQ Equality
Global Justice Center
GLSEN
Guttmacher Institute
Holler Health Justice
Howard Brown Health
Impact Fund
ISBLA
Lambda Legal
Legal Voice
Los Angeles LGBT Center
Maine Chapter, American Academy of Pediatrics
Maine Transgender Network
Maine Women’s Lobby
MARGIES HOPE
Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition
Mazzoni Center
Minority Veterans of America
Movement Advancement Project
National Black Justice Coalition
National Center for Lesbian Rights
National Center for Transgender Equality
National Coalition for LGBT Health
National Council of Jewish Women
National Equality Action Team (NEAT)
National LGBT Bar Association
National LGBT Cancer Network
National LGBTQ Task Force Action Fund
National Organization for Women
National Women’s Law Center
Nebraska Coalition to End Sexual and Domestic Violence
New Ways Ministry (Roman Catholic)
North Dakota Human Rights Coalition
Northridge Indivisible
Oasis Legal Services
OLÉ
One Colorado
Out and Equal
OutFront Minnesota
OutNebraska
OutSupport Medina Ohio
Pediatric Endocrine Society
People For the American Way
PFLAG National
Planned Parenthood Action Fund
Plexus LGBT & Allied Chamber of Commerce
ProgressNow New Mexico
PROMO
Shriver Center on Poverty Law
Silver State Equality-Nevada
Southwest Women’s Law Center
Supermajority
Tennessee Equality Project
The Greenlining Institute
The Trevor Project
Trans Lifeline
TransAthlete.com
TransFamily
Transgender Education Network of Texas (TENT)
Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund
TransOhio
UltraViolet
Union for Reform Judaism
URGE: Unite for Reproductive & Gender Equity
Whitman-Walker Institute
Women’s Sports Foundation
Wyoming Equality
Youth Forward