Statement by HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra Reaffirming HHS Support and Protection for LGBTQI+ Children and Youth
Today, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Xavier Becerra released the following statement reaffirming HHS’s commitment to confront dangerous actions in states targeting and discriminating against trans and gender non-conforming youth.
“States’ attacks on our trans and gender non-conforming youth and their families are dangerous and negligent. It is interference in people’s medical decisions and jeopardizes potentially life-saving care.
“We must support our youth by ensuring they receive, when appropriate, the gender-affirming care and mental health support they need. We know that when just one adult accepts our LGBTQI+ youth, the risk of suicide is decreased by 40%. We must do better by our kids.
“To anyone who feels targeted or alone in these times, you are not—we see you, and are standing with you.”
HHS Actions Announced by Secretary Xavier Becerra:
Earlier this year, Secretary Becerra announced several immediate actions HHS took to protect LGBTQI+ youths’ access to health care, including:
- Releasing guidance to state child welfare agencies that makes clear that states should use their child welfare systems to advance safety and support for LGBTQI+ youth, which importantly can include access to gender-affirming care;
- Releasing guidance on patient privacy and denials of health care;
- Other actions are detailed on HHS's LGBTQI+ website, including information to support youth, adults, families, caretakers, and providers.
If people believe they have been discriminated against in a health program or activity that receives financial assistance from HHS, they can file a complaint.