Florida’s Ban of Gender-Affirming Care for Youth


Ted Eytan

Florida bans treating gender dysphoria in minors.

Gianna Iadevaia, Reporter

The fight for the rights to gender-affirming care in America is a constant struggle for LGBTQ+ advocates and transgender youth. On Friday, October 28th, a joint committee in Tallahassee, Florida, of the state’s two medical boards continued to pursue their objective on restricting and preventing medical care for transgender youth. This has been a ceaseless movement. The Florida Department of Health pushed out a petition that described a rule based on treating gender dysphoria in July, and also described “prohibiting doctors from using medical interventions such as surgery or medications to treat minors diagnosed with gender dysphoria,” according to the Tampa Bay Times.

Gender dysphoria, defined by the U.S. government, is described as ‘significant distress that a person may feel when sex or gender assigned at birth is not the same as their identity.’ In adolescents, gender dysphoria is additionally more severe when they are experiencing puberty, especially with an identity that doesn’t describe them, according to a study by the National Library of Medicine.

Those from both the Florida Board of Medicine and the state Board of Osteopathic Medicine were sent to revise and approach the rule, which describes banning those under 18 from taking hormones, or undergoing any kind of surgery regarding altering or treating gender dysphoria. These actions encouraged Florida to move forward in its behavior towards gender-affirming care, leading to the rule being drafted in office on November 7th.

As the ban on these medical treatments are considered, many LGBTQ+ advocates have spoken out at the public panel designated for the discussion regarding the rule. Some argued that gender dysphoria is revolved in minors when they are older, according to Fox 13 News, for example, Governor DeSantis’s statement, “You don’t disfigure 10, 12, and 13-year-old kids based on gender dysphoria. 80% of it resolves anyway by the time they get older.”

On the contrary, backers of the rights for transgender youth such as Dr. Aron Janssen responded with statements such as, “Transition can, and often does, alleviate co-occurring mental health issues that a transgender young person experiences prior to transition. Following transition, transgender young people are often able to see significant improvements in functioning and quality of life.”

As of November 7th, the Florida Medical Board has banned gender-affirming care for minors. Five members were not present during the voting, yet it was ruled 5-3. According to MedPage Today, all 14 members of the board were appointed by Governor DeSantis.

Regarding the new rule, the Endocrine Society described it as ‘anti-science,’ and discriminatory. They also mentioned that it “contradicts medical evidence followed by the Endocrine Society, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Medical Association, the American Psychological Association, the Pediatric Endocrine Society and other mainstream medical organizations.”

Several points have been brought up by critics of the rule, such as saying that Florida is violating anti-discriminatory rules under the Affordable Care act, which was put into place regarding health coverage, ways to save, and making affordable health insurance more affordable to the people. Now, with this ban on gender-affirming care, those seeking medical aid regarding their identity or gender dysphoria cannot partake in this service.