Florida Department of Health releases guidance on ‘treating gender dysphoria’ in transgender youth

TALLAHASSEE, Florida. – The Florida Department of Health released guidelines on Wednesday regarding the treatment of gender dysphoria in children and adolescents.

Gender dysphoria is a medical condition in which a person’s gender identity is different from their sex assigned at birth – it has a huge impact on transgender people.

The guidelines say gender transition should not be an option for children or adolescents and took a stand against gender transition surgery, puberty blockers and hormone therapy for anyone under the age of 18.

The announcement comes after Governor Ron Desantis signed controversial legislation last month that restricts teaching about gender identity and sexual orientation in public schools.

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These new guidelines were created using peer-reviewed published data, according to state surgeon general Joseph Ladapo. Ladapo said it was non-binding advice advising treatments for gender dysphoria in minors.

The guidelines do not change any laws or alter any treatment for minors – but the new guidelines are of concern to some parents.

Cindy Noble – the president of PFLAG, one of the largest organizations for LGBTQ people, their parents, families and allies – said she felt it was a personal attack. Noble said she has two children who identify with the LGBTQ+ community and said it’s not up to the health department to decide what’s best for a child.

“Who are we to interrogate? noble said. “If a child comes to you and tells you this is who I am, you are listening to your child.”

Nobels said her biggest concern as a parent was mental health.

“I fear that with policies like these, our suicide rates go up, the suicide attempt rates go up,” Nobels said.

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Ladapo released this statement questioning the motives of the US Department of Health and Human Services:

“It was about injecting political ideology into the health of our children. Children with gender dysphoria should be supported by their family and seek advice, not pressured into making an irreversible decision before they turn 18.

The American Academy of Pediatrics calls puberty blockers, or hormone therapy, tools that “help reduce gender dysphoria and improve the mental health of many transgender, non-binary, and gender-diverse youth.”

The Human Rights Campaign and Equality Florida accuse the Florida Department of Health of “spreading dangerous misinformation about gender-affirming care and trans youth.”

“It is Equality Florida’s role in the state to protect people from discrimination and bigotry. It is our role to help create school environments within an environment in our state as a whole that welcomes and affirms everyone,” said Brandon Wolf, press secretary for Equality Florida.

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Parents are encouraged to contact their child’s healthcare provider for more information.

“You should always work with your doctor,” Wolf said. “You should always work with your pediatrician to provide the best care for your child.”

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