Over the course of the last few years, right-wing politicians have put transgender youth in their crosshairs by targeting gender-affirming care — a series of social, psychological and medical treatments that help support an individual’s gender identity, especially when it does not match the gender they were assigned at birth.
Conservative lawmakers have argued that gender-affirming care represents “irreversible” life decisions that children shouldn’t be able to make until they are at least 18 years old — and the most right-wing of those lawmakers (including Kentucky’s Sen. Rand Paul) go as far as referring to such procedures as “genital mutilation.”
Gender-affirming care includes much more than just “top” and “bottom” surgery (procedures that both the Endocrine Society and the World Professional Association for Transgender Health do not recommend for minors). The term serves as an umbrella for a variety of different treatments, including social transition, puberty blockers and gender-affirming hormone therapy (GAHT), all of which are largely reversible treatments.
Peer-reviewed research from top medical groups including the American Medical Association (AMA), the American Psychiatric Association (APA), the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) all show that gender-affirming care significantly reduces the risk of depression and suicidality among transgender patients. The AAP has even authorized a systematic review of their research on the subject to further expand their guidelines for gender-affirming treatment.
With the controversial practice becoming a hot-button issue in our modern political discourse, multiple celebrities have spoken out about gender-affirming care, both promoting and denouncing it. Below, see what musicians have had to say about best-practice healthcare for transgender people.