Anti-Transgender Initiatives from Elected Leaders Endangers the Health and Well-Being of Transgender Youth

On February 22, 2022, Texas Governor Greg Abbott directed the state’s Department of Family Protective Services to investigate any instances of transgender youth having received gender-affirming medical care and to prosecute their parents with the crime of child abuse.

Governor Abbott further ordered “all licensed professionals” who have direct contact with transgender youth, including doctors, nurses, teachers, and the general public, to report these families or face criminal penalties themselves. Although Governor Abbott’s letter is not legally binding, such an order spreads fear and misinformation and risks false reports of child abuse. 

Governor Abbott's order — and anti-transgender legislation in other states — endangers the health of transgender youth, restricts the ability of parents to care for their children, legitimizes discrimination against an already vulnerable group, and stirs fear against a nonexistent threat.

The NCFR Board of Directors unequivocally condemns legislation that limits the rights, opportunities, and care of transgender youth, and that criminalizes the affirming actions of their health care providers and educators. The Board encourages members of NCFR to educate their students, colleagues, local legislators, and other community members about the complex issues facing transgender youth and the dangers of anti-transgender legislation. Read full statement.

Family Science research published by NCFR members with expertise on the health and well-being of LGBTQ youth reveals the critical benefits of family and community support for transgender youth and adolescents. While research to understand the complex issues related to transgender youth's well-being is still emerging, gender-affirming care has been well-documented to show life-saving benefits to transgender youth through improved psychological health, reduced gender dysphoria, and decreased suicidality and suicide attempts. A full research summary is available to read and share with your networks and legislators. Read research summary.

NCFR will continue to seek and collect family-related research and resources on transgender individuals and their families. Our updated collection of Transgender Individuals and Families Resources includes NCFR journal articles, conference sessions, and other scholarly publications. View resource collection.