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American Academy of Pediatrics: Policy Statement on Supporting Transgender, Gender-Diverse Youths

lgbtq234In recent years, “gender identity” has increasingly been recognized as a complex concept that goes beyond traditional definitions of masculinity and femininity. Society struggles to adapt to and appreciate the diverse experiences of transgender and gender-diverse (TGD) individuals, which contributes to intolerance, discrimination and stigma. In this context, TGD youths and their families increasingly present to pediatric providers for advocacy, care and referrals.

The Academy stands against stigmatization and marginalization of TGD youths, and emphasizes the need for their acceptance as members of our families, communities and workforce. A new policy statement, Ensuring Comprehensive Care and Support for Transgender and Gender-Diverse Children and Adolescents, uses strengths-based concepts to outline the role of pediatricians in addressing the needs, challenges and resilience of TGD youths and their families.

The policy, from the Committee on the Psychosocial Aspects of Child and Family Health, the Committee on Adolescence, and Section on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Health and Wellness, is available at https://doi.org/10.1542/peds.2018-2162 and will be published in the October issue of Pediatrics.

In addition to ensuring access to comprehensive, gender-affirming and developmentally appropriate care for TGD youths and their families, the policy also recommends:

  • development of electronic health records and billing systems that respect the asserted gender identity of each patient;
  • insurance plans that offer health care coverage specific to the needs of TGD youths;
  • increased provider education and clinical research on the emotional and physical health needs and best practices for the care of TGD youths and their families; and
  • advocacy with school districts, communities and policymakers to promote acceptance, inclusion and legal protection for all children without fear of harassment, exclusion or bullying because of gender expression.

Read the American Academy of Pediatrics news release.

Source: American Academy of Pediatrics | Pediatricians are key in supporting transgender, gender-diverse youths, http://www.aappublications.org/news/2018/09/17/transgender091718 | Copyright © 2018 American Academy of Pediatrics

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