- Personal Essay: Actress, Filmmaker Sarah Ann Masse on Coming Out as Bisexual and Her Fight to Clean Up a Toxic Hollywood (Exclusive)
- Peacock’s “The Traitors” is Back for a Star-Studded Season 2 Featuring Peppermint!
- GLAAD Co-Hosts Drag Brunch to Celebrate the Premiere of Prime Video’s “Cassandro”
- ‘Karamo’ To “Embrace The Mess” In Season 2; Show Host Talks Telling Stories With Respect And Empathy
- Unregistered LGBTQ Voters–We Need You
- ‘Cassandro’ Director Roger Ross Williams Talks Joy Of Real-Life Saúl Armendáriz, Queer Representation And Authenticity
- HeadCount is Leading National Voter Registration Day Across the Nation
- GLAAD Celebrates Latine Heritage with Laughter
MEDIA ALERT: GLAAD FACTSHEET FOR REPORTERS TO ACCURATELY COVER U.S. HOUSE SUBCOMMITTEE HEARING ON TRANSGENDER HEALTH CARE
- Last updated: July 27, 2023
(New York, NY, July 27, 2023) — GLAAD, the world’s largest LGBTQ media advocacy organization, is issuing guidance for reporters in advance of today’s U.S. House Judiciary Subcommittee on Constitution and Limited Government hearing regarding best practice, evidence-based and medically supported essential health care for transgender people and youth.
The hearing will take place at 10am ET and can be streamed here: https://judiciary.house.gov/
The hearing follows the introduction earlier this year of a bill, HR 1399, that would make it a felony for providers to offer lifesaving health care to transgender youth and which would ban the use of federal funds for this type of care or for health insurance that covers such care. HR 1399 would also prohibit institutions of higher education from educating about transgender health care; and would have particularly harmful impacts on health care providers who offer transgender health care who are not U.S. citizens. The bill is sponsored by Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA-14), whose full record advocating against LGBTQ people and supporting baseless and violent conspiracy theories is documented on the GLAAD Accountability Project here.
The “witnesses” will not include any transgender people; and include a spokesperson from the Family Research Council, a far-right evangelical activist and lobbying group with a long record of advocating against LGBTQ people. The speakers will also include a former swimmer at the University of Pennsylvania, where Lia Thomas became the first openly transgender athlete to win an NCAA Division 1 championship. Reporters should refer to GLAAD’s previous fact sheet about Lia: https://glaad.org/factsheet-
Facts to include in your reporting:
Every major medical association and leading world health authority supports health care for transgender people and youth. Statements from 30+ organizations here.
Members of the House are introducing legislation similar to state health care bans that have been blocked in six U.S. district courts, including by three Trump-nominated justices, stopping bans from being enacted in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Indiana, Kentucky, and Tennessee. Oklahoma has agreed to not enforce its ban while a temporary court order blocking it is being pursued.
Judges have reviewed expert evidence and lived experience of plaintiffs to rule that the care is necessary, safe, and essential. They have also tossed testimony from state witnesses for lack of credibility and qualifications. Rulings here. Excerpts from judges’ rulings, noting the bans’ as unconstitutional and a violation of due process, below.
Earlier this week, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed extreme legislation that bans all forms of transition-related health care, including medications like hormone therapy and puberty blockers that have been safely used for decades. Russia’s new legislation also bans people from being able to change their gender markers on official documents, bans transgender people from being able to adopt a child, and annuls any marriages in which one of the spouses is transgender.
Refer to the anti-LGBTQ records of committee leaders and potential witnesses, as documented by the GLAAD Accountablity Project, noting a history of spreading false information about LGBTQ people and transgender health care, including witnesses whose testimony has been rejected in district courts such as Mark Regnerus, Patrick Lappert and Paul Hruz.
GLAAD best practice guidelines for reporters:
Seek quotes and background from transgender people in any story about transgender people or youth.
Seek expertise and elevate facts and expertise over opinion.
Accurately note and report the widely-held consensus about the safety, efficacy and mainstream medical and scientific acceptance of transgender health care.
Avoid elevating singular voices or rare cases and concerns in equal weight to the consensus and preponderance of evidence showing the benefits of health care to transgender people and youth.
Challenge negative claims for facts and evidence for claims. Include fact checks of quotes and claims in your reporting.
Include the benefits of evidence-based healthcare to the health and wellbeing of trans youth: Research shows access to puberty blockers during a transgender person’s adolescence is associated with a significant decrease in suicidal ideation. Doctors have also used these medications safely for decades for cisgender children who experience precocious puberty. The Journal of Adolescent Health found that gender-affirming hormone therapy resulted in lower rates of depression, suicidal thoughts, and suicide attempts among older transgender and nonbinary teens. Using a transgender youth’s authentic name and pronouns improves mental health.
Include research on harms to vulnerable youth from efforts to take away their healthcare. 85% of transgender and nonbinary youth — and 66% of all LGBTQ youth — say recent debates about state laws restricting the rights of transgender people have negatively impacted their mental health.
Sarah Kate Ellis (she/her/hers), President and CEO of GLAAD, issued the following statement in advance of the hearing:
“Lawmakers who insisted on holding this hearing to spread proven lies and disinformation about vulnerable people are racing to pass baseless legislation that’s already been ruled unconstitutional and harmful at the state level. It flies in the face of every leading medical association’s recommendations, as well as research and best practice guidelines that support this mainstream health care for transgender Americans. Health care decisions should be left to transgender people, their families and loved ones, and their trusted providers — not politicians. We must hold accountable lawmakers seeking to use transgender people and their lives as pawns in a political game. Transgender people, like all of us, deserve basic dignity and respect and the right to live and thrive.”
U.S. District judges’ quotes blocking bans on health care for transgender people:
ARKANSAS: U.S. District Judge James Moody issued a ruling blocking an Arkansas law that sought to ban doctors from providing best practice health care to any transgender person under age 18 and called it unconstitutional, a violation of due process and equal protection rights of transgender youth and families, and a violation of the First Amendment free speech rights of medical providers. Judge Moody also wrote that the state’s witnesses lacked credentials and qualifications. “Rather than protecting children or safeguarding medical ethics,” Moody wrote, “the evidence showed that the prohibited medical care improves the mental health and well-being of patients and that, by prohibiting it, the state undermined the interests it claims to be protecting.”
FLORIDA: U.S. District Judge Robert Hinkle ruled Florida’s ban on evidence-based health care for transgender people is unconstitutional and would cause “irreparable harm” to transgender youth: “The treatment will affect the patients themselves, nobody else, and will cause the defendants no harm. The preliminary injunction will be consistent with, not adverse to, the public interest. Adherence to the Constitution is always in the public interest.”
KENTUCKY: Judge David Hale: “the Court finds that the treatments barred by SB 150 are medically appropriate and necessary for some transgender children under the evidence-based standard of care accepted by all major medical organizations in the United States.” The ACLU of Kentucky, along with the National Center for Lesbian Rights and law firm Morgan, Lewis & Bockius, noted SB 150 singles out transgender kids by blocking access to health care that cisgender kids can receive. They also say it unjustly limits a parent’s rights to make medical decisions for their children.
TENNESSEE: Judge Eli Richardson issued an order blocking the state from enforcing a ban on gender-affirming medications such as puberty blockers and hormone therapies. Tennessee can enforce its ban on gender transition surgical procedures, which states have failed to show are happening. Richardson’s opinion indicated Tennessee officials have so far failed to make a convincing case on the constitutionality of the law.
About GLAAD: GLAAD rewrites the script for LGBTQ acceptance. As a dynamic media force, GLAAD tackles tough issues to shape the narrative and provoke dialogue that leads to cultural change. GLAAD protects all that has been accomplished and creates a world where everyone can live the life they love. For more information, please visit www.glaad.org or connect with GLAAD on Facebook and Twitter.
For GLAAD Media Institute Alum Kevin Anderson, interviews with journalists have become increasingly prevalent in…