American Psychological Association Backs Gender-Affirming Care

American Psychological Association Backs Gender-Affirming Care

The American Psychological Association (APA) is doubling down on public support for gender-affirming care with a new policy statement. In their official statement, APA addresses “the spread of misleading and unfounded narratives that mischaracterize gender dysphoria and affirming care, likely resulting in further stigmatization, marginalization, and lack of access to psychological and medical supports for transgender, gender diverse, and nonbinary individuals.”

The APA is a leading scientific and professional organization representing psychology across the United States and has over 157,000 researchers, educators, clinicians, consultants, and students as its members. Arriving at a poignant moment for the LGBTQ+ community, the APA’s statement follows the death of nonbinary 16 year old Nex Benedict, who passed shortly after a physical altercation with peers who were bullying them at an Oklahoma school. Though their cause of death is still unknown and under investigation, outcries to end LGBTQ+ bullying have been heard from activists and human rights groups across the country. 

APA’s statement covers all its bases, from opposing state bans on gender affirming care, to encouraging inclusive health coverage, prioritizing the mental and physical autonomy and well being of trans, gender nonconforming and nonbinary people, and emphasizing the importance of practicing intersectionality in medical services. 

According to GLAAD, APA President Cynthia de las Fuentes said “We believe that access to evidence-based health care is a fundamental right for everyone, and this policy reflects our commitment to promoting social justice and equity in health care.” 

The statement also comes in the midst of consecutively difficult years for the protection of gender-affirming care in state law. Many states have attempted to curtail access to gender-affirming care for minors, and some have even begun to introduce legislation to limit access for trans adults. 

“Every major medical association and leading world health authority supports transgender health care, across patient lifespan and professional specialties,” GLAAD reports. See GLAAD’s list of more than thirty organizations who support gender affirming care here.

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