Alarge majority of transgender adults in the United States – 78% – say living with a gender different from the one assigned to them at birth has made them more satisfied with their lives, according to a recent survey from The Washington Post and Kaiser Family Foundation. 

Among respondents, more than three-quarters had changed their type of clothing, hairstyle or grooming habits to align with their preferred gender, while 31% had used hormone treatments and 16% had undergone gender-affirming surgery or a related surgical treatment to alter their appearance. 

But such options are becoming available on a more limited basis, as politicians in multiple states have attempted to restrict trans Americans’ ability to seek gender-affirming medical treatments. In some states, such as Georgia and Tennessee, bans for minors were approved in the first quarter of 2023. 

The Human Rights Campaign, a LGBTQ+ advocacy group, defines gender-affirming care as “age-appropriate care that is medically necessary for the well-being of many transgender and non-binary people who experience symptoms of gender dysphoria, or distress that results from having one’s gender identity not match their sex assigned at birth.” 

What Is Gender-Affirming Care?

The organization notes both the American Medical Association and American Academy of Pediatrics support “age-appropriate, gender-affirming care for transgender and non-binary people.” 

What Is Gender-Affirming Care?

Conservatives often oppose the concept of gender-affirming care – which may or may not include surgical or other interventions – for various reasons, including religious beliefs and concerns about child abuse. “You don’t disfigure 10-, 12-, 13-year-old kids based on gender dysphoria,” Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, a Republican, said at an August news conference. 

Some have expressed concern about a lack of data on the possible long-term consequences of gender-affirming medical treatment for minors. A Reuters investigation, for example, found “no large-scale studies have tracked people who received gender-related medical care as children to determine how many remained satisfied with their treatment as they aged and how many eventually regretted transitioning. 

– Arkansa – Florida – Georgia – Idaho – Indiana – Iowa – Kentucky – Louisiana – Mississippi – Missouri

These States Have Banned Gender-Affirming Care