Last week, three North Carolina lawmakers introduced a bill which would ban gender-affirming treatment for people under age 21, even if judged medically necessary by their parents and doctors. It also contains several other controversial actions such as requiring school personnel to reliably distinguish, determine, and report on “gender nonconformity” to guardians. For many reasons, NAMI NC strongly opposes SB 514, the so-called Youth Health Protection Act.
Members of the transgender community routinely face prejudice in employment, housing, education, and other social determinants of health. In addition to being impractical–teachers would be asked to reliably distinguish “gender nonconformity” from personality traits–SB 514 may further entrench animus against an already marginalized community. Worse still, it would target young people who are still in the process of finding out who they are and how they relate to their bodies. It would also increase the stigmas experienced by members of our community who are already at substantially higher risk for suicide than their peers.
NAMI NC encourages you to voice your opinions on the introduction of this type of legislation to your representatives. NAMI NC Public Policy Director Ashish George can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org for any questions on this or other NC legislation.