America’s double standard. Recently, USA Today published this headline, “Gender-affirming care is life-saving, research says Why is it so controversial?”
Charlie Adams started taking testosterone four-and-a-half years ago. The 27-year-old’s risk of cardiovascular disease increased slightly; it ticked up from someone assigned female at birth to someone who’s male.
“That can be taken out of context pretty easily,” says Adams, a medical student from the Midwest, who’s all too aware of the debates around transgender health care.
Gender-affirming care is a valid, science-backed method of medicine that saves lives and that research shows results in better mental health outcomes, despite many states rolling back (or reconsidering) rights for transgender youth. Concerns about care are primarily targeted at kids, though can involve adults too.
Gender identity is a spectrum, according to experts; someone who is born with male or female sex characteristics may actually be another gender. These people require care as they navigate their identities. This care saves lives, according to The Trevor Project.
Gender-affirming care includes everything from talk therapy to hormone therapy to surgical intervention; it’s not a one-size-fits-all method. Keep in mind that transgender adults make up less than 2% of the U.S. population; about 5% of young adults identify as transgender or nonbinary.
“This is no different than the practice of Female Gential Mutilation performed in some 3rd World countries, such as, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Maldives, Pakistan and Sri Lanka”, said Thomas Robb, the National Director of the Knights Party of the Ku Klux Klan, based in Harrison, Arkansas. “The procedure for FGM involves partial or total removal of the external female genitalia, or other injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons. I remember not too many years ago certain people, and organizations in America were fighting for this practice to be stopped in these 3rd World countries. Even the World Health Organization strongly recommeds this practice stop as it is not healthy. My question is, why is the same exact same thing being done in America? We don’t call it Female Genital Mutilation, we call it transgender surgery. Same thing, just different names. Where are these people and organizations in America that fought to end this practice in 3rd World countries? Being called trans-surgery doesn’t make it any better than calling it Female Genital Mutilation. Both are sexual mutilation of children.”