On April 20, Florida's department of health said children younger than 18 years old should not be permitted to receive any form of gender-affirming care, including medications like puberty blockers and hormones and "social gender transition" like name or pronoun changes, The Hill reported.
In new guidance, the department said the treatment of gender dysphoria should be limited to professional counseling and social support from peers and family members that do not include encouraging young people to change their name or pronouns or wear gender-affirming clothing.
The department pushed back on evidence cited in a recent Health and Human Services Department (HHS) fact sheet stating that gender-affirming care "improves the mental health and overall well-being of gender diverse children and adolescents." The HHS fact sheet is at https://opa.hhs.gov/sites/default/files/2022-03/gender-affirming-care-young-people-march-2022.pdf.
In a joint statement, GLAAD and Equality Florida responded to Florida's guidelines. Equality Florida said, "Once again, the DeSantis Administration seeks to replace science and the safety of young people with political propaganda. The Florida Department of Health has released non-binding guidance opposing science-backed health care for transgender children. This guidance demonizes life-saving, medically-necessary care, and asserts that the government, not parents, knows best when it comes to health care for our children.
"And, once again, DeSantis wants the government to intrude into doctors' offices to pander to extremists in service to his political ambitions. Parents should be deciding, in partnership with their child's doctor, based on science, not politics, what is best for their children. Gov. DeSantis' runaway agenda of banning books, muzzling teachers, censoring history, and pushing government control is putting a handful of extremists in charge of every aspect of the lives of Floridians and is making the state less safe for LGBTQ families, especially transgender children."
GLAAD President & CEO Sarah Kate Ellis added, "As a mom, as an advocate, as a human being, all I can say is this is appalling. Gov. DeSantis and the Florida Department of Health should be doing everything they can to support all kids, rather than playing politics with their lives. All major medical associations support gender-affirming care for trans youth. Denying kids live-saving, medically necessary, gender-affirming care is downright dangerous."