Statement on recent anti-LGBTQ+ policies
Updated: Mar 15
Recent anti-LGBTQ policies and laws in Texas, Florida, Idaho–especially those aimed at criminalizing gender-affirming care for transgender youth–are alarming.
Reiterating Girls Inc’s National Position Statement on Gender Identity, Girls Inc. of New York City welcomes cisgender girls and young women, transgender girls and young women, and nonbinary individuals who experience gender-based oppression. We welcome youth who identify as LGBTQ+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer) and youth exploring their sexual orientation and/or gender identity.
Ostensibly aiming to address child abuse, policies to investigate and/or incarcerate caregivers who help their trans children access gender-affirming care will bring further unwanted scrutiny to transgender children, potentially resulting in an increase of adverse physical and mental health outcomes. Separating transgender children from safe spaces and supportive caregivers will further expose them to ostracization, violence, self-harm, and anguish, which transgender and nonbinary individuals already experience at notably high rates.
Since 2013, at least 250 transgender and nonbinary persons in the United States have been murdered, and one in two transgender persons experiences sexual violence at some point in their lives. According to a 2021 survey report by The Trevor Project, an organization committed to suicide prevention among LGBTQ youth, 52% of transgender and nonbinary youth have reported seriously considering suicide and 20% have actually attempted suicide; these rates are highest among Native/Indigenous youth and Black youth.
In terms of mental health, 3 in 4 transgender and nonbinary youth reported symptoms of anxiety, and 2 in 3 experienced symptoms of depression within two weeks of The Trevor Project’s survey. This alarming data should compel us, as a society, to reassess our policies and actions and to make good faith efforts to protect our children from violence of all kinds.
All children have a fundamental human right to live with dignity, free from violence, and in a state of good health and well-being. At Girls Inc. of New York City, we believe in rights so much that we have our own Girls’ Bill of Rights. We do everything in our power to keep our students safe from violence and self-harm. We respect our students’ inherent value, and we honor the unequivocal fact that they know their own minds and bodies. We are committed to providing students a safe space to learn and to express their STRONG, SMART, and BOLD selves.
Resources for Help
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 800-273-8255 (or 988 for all of US, starting July 16, 2022)
National Domestic Violence Hotline: 800-799-7233