: A supporter holds a sign reading “Support Transgender Youth” in Washington Square Park during the 8th Annual Transgender Day of Action on June 22, 2012 in New York City.Photo: Shutterstock
A Dallas health care program for transgender youth was shut down after conservative activists lobbied against it, The Texas Tribune reports. Critics have claimed that providing gender-affirming health care to transgender youth is “child violation”, even though it saves lives.
The GENder Education and Care interdisciplinary support program, known as GENECIS, was Texas’ only public clinic for transgender youth, until authorities announced its closure on Friday.
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Officials at Children’s Medical Center Dallas and UT Southwestern Medical Center, who ran the program together, assured the public that those receiving treatment under the program will continue to do so in other hospital wards. Dissolving the program, they said, was the best option to preserve patient privacy.
“The choice to remove the mark for this care offers a more private and isolated experience for patients and their families,” said a joint statement from the two medical centers.
The press release also stressed that the staff “does not anticipate any interruption of care or services for our existing patients who are already receiving care with these specialized teams”.
He added, however, that while the appropriate services will continue to accept new patients and assess them for “gender dysphoria,” doctors “will not be initiating patients on hormone therapy or puberty suppression only. for this diagnosis ”.
The shutdown of the program was fueled by anti-trans activists, who staged protests and accused hospital officials of child abuse. Conservative organization Save Texas Kids has gone so far as to say that gender-affirming care “erodes family unity.”
Following the protests, the Children’s Medical Center in Dallas defended GENECIS to the Dallas express, stating that it saves lives.
“With a suicide attempt rate of up to 41% in children and adolescents with gender dysphoria,” said a hospital representative, “there is a need for comprehensive care for these young people. In view of the significant suffering and the extraordinarily high suicide rate among these children, a comprehensive and multidisciplinary approach is needed to help address this medical problem. “
The statement also said, “The program provides gender affirming care. He does not perform gender affirmation surgery.
Gender affirmation surgery is not performed on minors in Texas. Instead, young people often receive reversible treatments like puberty blockers or non-medical treatments like social transition and therapy.
The shutdown of the program also comes as Texas remains one of the epicenters of this year’s assault on anti-trans legislation.
In October, Texas Governor Greg Abbott (right) signed a new law prohibiting students from participating in school sports teams that match their gender identities. Instead, the gender listed on their birth certificate will be the sole referee of the team they are allowed to join.
Abbott, one of the most fiercely anti-LGBTQ governors in the country, has promised donors he will promote legislation attacking transgender children “in every session we have.”
As of September, more than 70 anti-LGBTQ bills were introduced in the Texas Legislature in 2021, most of which target transgender youth, Equality Texas reported.
Ricardo Martinez, CEO of Equality Texas, released a statement following the shutdown of GENECIS, expressing how “heartbreaking” it is that doctors are being harassed for “trying to keep their Hippocratic Oath to Save People. lives ”.
“Accessing healthcare can be a courageous act for many LGBTQ + people,” Martinez said, “because of the difficulty in finding providers who know our needs and the mistreatment we have suffered from insurers and / or providers in the past. “