Opinion: Youth and gender-affirming care: let’s start with ‘do no harm’

No decent person wants to hurt children. Yet as pediatricians and longtime public health practitioners, we’ve both seen how children can be harmed by adults’ poor decisions. Efforts to block gender-affirming care for trans children have been more about politics than about health, and kids are paying the price: More than 90% of LGBTQ+ youths say recent politics has harmed their mental health.

Tragically and predictably, they are experiencing higher rates of depression and suicide. In a 2021 study by The Trevor Project — a nonprofit suicide prevention group that supports LGBTQ+ youth — more than 50% of transgender and nonbinary youths reported that they had considered killing themselves, and 20% had actually tried to do so.

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