On Friday, Dec. 2, the City of Minneapolis took action to ensure transgender and gender-diverse youth will continue to have access to life-saving health care. Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey signed an Executive Oder establishing the city as a safe haven for gender-affirming care.
Executive Order 2022-04 prohibits all City departments and City staff from taking any enforcement action against providers or individuals exercising their right to gender-affirming health care in Minneapolis. It also affirms the rights of minors living apart from their parents to make their own medical decision regarding gender-affirming care, in accordance with Minnesota law.
Dr. Angela Kade Goepferd, chief education officer and medical director of the Gender Health program at Children’s Minnesota, was among those invited to the signing.
During the press conference, Dr. Goepferd explained the importance of transgender and gender-diverse youth having access to gender-affirming care.
“When transgender and gender diverse kids are seen, heard and believed, they do better. When we support kids to be who they are, we know they can grow up to be happy, healthy, safe and strong. However, too often when I’m in our Gender Health clinic, I hear from our patients, the kids and young adults of our community, that they’re experiencing harassment and discrimination based on their gender identities and expressions,” said Dr. Goepferd. “Today, more than anything else, I want transgender and gender diverse kids and their families to know that we are standing up for them with our words and our actions.”
Hennepin County also recently took action on gender-affirming care, investing in services that expand accessible, reproductive and gender-affirming health care for all, with an emphasis on addressing health and racial equity disparities.
The medical and mental health care provided to transgender and gender diverse youth is well-supported by scientific research. Every major medical society in this country supports gender affirming care, including: the American Academy of Pediatrics, American Psychological Association, CDC and Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine. In addition, studies show that for young people who identify as transgender, gender-affirming care can decrease emotional distress, and has positive effects on overall well-being while reducing thoughts of suicide.
This year, Boston Children’s Hospital and other pediatric hospitals around the country, including Children’s Minnesota, have experienced threats and harassment for providing health care to children and teenagers in their gender health programs. Children’s Minnesota stands with the Gender Health team and will continue to defend the critical care they provide. As an organization, we are committed to providing access to health care for all children.