The Right to Gender Affirming Care
April 20, 2022
On Friday, March 25, after UT Southwestern and Children’s Medical Center shut down the Genecis clinic in Dallas, Texas, 850 signatories submitted a letter urging for it to remain open. Their letter is part of a larger outcry: hundreds of family members of patients and advocates for LGBTQ+ youth are pressuring the clinic to continue providing critical gender-affirming care to trans youth.
Why did UT Southwestern and Children’s Medical Center shut down the clinic? The hospitals maintain that they stopped treatment access to new patients in late 2021 to increase privacy for the clinic’s current patients. Then UT Southwestern recently admitted that its decision “was made at least in part due to the changing political climate towards trans youth.”
Understanding the hospitals’ articulated (and implicit) motivations behind the decision is undoubtedly important. It’s also important to highlight, as Oliver Haug does, the decision’s devastating effects, regardless of the good or bad intentions which supported it. Haug notes that the clinic is the “only one of its kind serving trans youth in Texas and in surrounding states.” It offered critical services to those youth, including puberty blockers, hormone replacement therapy, and psychiatry and mental health care. Now, it’s shuttering, amidst a slew of government attacks on trans youth.
We at Woodhull recognize that access to quality, compassionate health care is a fundamental human right that’s inextricable from our right to sexual freedom. Trans youth deserve to have access to care that affirms them and addresses their physical and mental health needs. We add our voices to all those calling for the clinic to be re-opened.