According to UCLA’s Williams Institute, a research center on sexual orientation and gender identity law and public policy, less than 1% of the Americans age 13-17 identify as “transgender.” The Biden Administration wants to make sure they are not invisible.
On the Transgender Day of Visibility, the White House posted a lengthy fact sheet detailing its “Advances on Equality and Visibility for Transgender Americans.”
The Administration also is expected to soon announce new regulations requiring insurance coverage for cross-sex hormones, gender-transition surgeries, “gender-affirming” cosmetic surgeries and voice modification, as well as for abortion. The regulations are expected to disallow religious exemptions, according to Catholic News Service.
“Today, the Biden Administration announced new actions to support the mental health of transgender children, remove barriers that transgender people face accessing critical government services, and improve the visibility of transgender people in our nation’s data,” according to the White House fact sheet, posted March 31.
A particular point of contention is the ability of young people to obtain what advocates refer to as “gender-affirming” healthcare, such as controversial drugs that will block certain bodily changes at the onset of puberty. Texas governor Greg Abbott has called on the state’s child welfare service to open abuse investigations into parents who give puberty blockers and hormones to children.
But the Biden Administration maintains, “Transgender children are put at higher risk of attempted suicide or mental health challenges when they face bullying, rejection, or denial of health care.”
While some states have removed certain information from official websites about mental health resources for such youth, the Administration says, putting them at greater risk of attempted suicide, the Department of Health and Human Services launched its own dedicated website on the issue.
But at least one observer cautioned that the Administration promotes the use of puberty blockers for transgender kids by citing a study from an LGBT group funded in part by a manufacturer of the controversial drugs used in gender reassignment.
The study was published by the Trevor Project, two of whose donors — AbbVie and Allergan — make drugs and medical products used in the gender transition process, said Chuck Ross in the Washington Free Beacon.
“The Trevor Project study, published in the Journal of Adolescent Health and cited by numerous news outlets, claimed that teenagers with access to drugs and procedures to change genders were less likely to have depression and suicidal thoughts,” Ross wrote. “The organization polled nearly 12,000 transgender and nonbinary youth, offering gift cards to some participants. In citing the study, HHS said ‘early’ use of the drugs was ‘crucial’ to the well-being of transgender children.
“AbbVie makes Lupron, a drug designed to treat premature puberty that is sold off-label to transgender children,” Ross continued. “The company also sells Androgel, a testosterone booster used in the female-to-male transition process. Allergan makes materials used in gender reassignment procedures.”
But a group of scientists wrote in a 2019 letter published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism that the puberty-blocking therapies could cause sterility, sexual dysfunction, and cardiovascular problems, Ross pointed out. “The researchers also said that limited data from people who have undergone gender transitions ‘fail to demonstrate long-term success in suicide prevention,’” he wrote.