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American Psychological Association affirms gender identity

American Psychological Association affirms gender identity

The Human Rights Campaign responded to a resolution adopted by the American Psychological Association that opposes efforts to reject or attempt to change a person’s true gender identity, citing research that conveys those actions as harmful. “The Resolution on Gender Identity Change Efforts” aligns with the APA’s position against similar efforts to change a person’s sexual orientation.

There is no question that denying a person’s gender identity is wrong. It’s detrimental to their mental health, their physical health, and their overall sense of self worth—and this includes young people. The consensus from the American Psychological Association further reinforces that we must rely on transgender people and their healthcare providers to determine treatment for gender affirming care in accordance with current medical best practices—this is not the place for politicians. It is incredibly dangerous when strangers can legislate personal healthcare decisions.” -Alphonso David, Human Rights Campaign President

The resolution emphasizes that “individuals who have experienced pressure or coercion to conform to their sex assigned at birth or therapy that was biased toward conformity to one’s assigned sex at birth have reported harm resulting from these experiences, such as emotional distress, loss of relationships, and low self-worth.” The resolution also reiterates support for laws and policies that prohibit efforts to change a person’s gender identity and that aim to protect individuals from anti-transgender bias and discrimination.

Although this announcement is a step in the right direction, transgender people are especially vulnerable when it comes to accessing social services and health care, including finding doctors who respect and affirm their identities. Many experience discrimination from medical providers, while others may simply struggle to access medical and mental health professionals who are knowledgeable in transgender-specific care.

Read the full resolution here.