International Transgender Day of Visibility: Anti-Trans Legislation & Call to Action

March 31, 2023

Written by Nikitha Balaji, AMSA LGBT+ Health Coordinator for Gender & Sexuality Action Committee and incoming M1

International Transgender Day of Visibility:
Anti-Trans Legislation & Call to Action

Today – March 31st, 2023 – AMSA celebrates the 14th annual International Transgender Day of Visibility. International Transgender Day of Visibility is a day which is dedicated to acknowledging the powerful advocacy for equality and invaluable contributions to society spearheaded by the transgender community. At the same time, this day exists to draw attention toward anti-transgender oppression and discrimination and the work that remains in the movement for transgender equality.

International Transgender Day of Visibility was founded in 2009 by Rachel Crandall Crocker, a Michigan-based psychotherapist, founder of Transgender Michigan, and longstanding transgender advocate. In 2023, it remains no less important to celebrate this important day.

In the United States, anti-transgender legislation is being proposed this year at record-breaking numbers. According to the Trans Legislation Tracker, an open-source site that tracks anti-trans legislation, a total of 493 anti-transgender bills have been introduced in 2023. Just last week, the Human Rights Campaign released data indicating that more than half of transgender youth (age 13 – 17) across the nation have already lost or are at imminent risk of losing access to gender-affirming care as a direct result of cruel and politically motivated state-level legislative bans. Bans on gender-affirming care have already been codified into law in more than ten states and will ultimately restrict access to lifesaving and medically necessary care. States such as Oklahoma, Texas, and South Carolina are even considering banning care for transgender people up to 26 years of age or are codifying the methods physicians should take to medically detransition transgender youth.

Legislative attempts to ban gender-affirming care for transgender people are just one part of a larger coordinated attempt to deny and erase transgender people’s existence through politicized processes. Bills using rhetoric laden with misinformation and developed by a few select far-right and anti-LGBT+ organizations are actively eroding the most fundamental rights of transgender people in the United States. Recently introduced bills seek to facilitate the provision of conversion therapy for transgender youth, prohibit transgender people from accessing public spaces which align with their gender identity, ban birth certificate updates for transgender people, and exclude education on gender identity in school.

Despite these attacks, 2023 has also been a year marked by the outstanding advocacy, action, and resilience of transgender people. Efforts spearheaded by grassroots community organizations centered on securing joy and safety for transgender people have paved the way in pushing back against hateful bills and rhetoric and mobilizing against the current legislative attack on the rights of transgender people.

AMSA members – comprising a group of more than 30,000 medical students, pre-medical students, advocates and alumni physicians – also have a place within this movement, as we are uniquely positioned to communicate the evidence-based medicine and expert medical consensus that supports the provision of gender-affirming care, prohibition of conversion therapy, and other issues that impact transgender people’s ability to enjoy their right to happy and healthy lives.

Take Action – Your Voice Makes a Difference!

Educate Yourself:

If you would like to further educate yourself on the healthcare inequities, needs, and experiences of transgender people, sign up for AMSA’s Transgender Health Scholars Program next year. Asynchronous learning resources on transgender have also been developed by the Fenway Institute’s National LGBTQIA+ Health Education Center.

Join AMSA’s Transgender Health Advocacy Initiatives:

Sign up here if you are interested in meeting with AMSA’s Gender and Sexuality Action Committee to strategize next steps in advocating for transgender health equity. Working in solidarity with one another, we can begin combatting current discriminatory efforts to curtail access to gender-affirming care for youth. AMSA’s Gender and Sexuality Action Committee is also working to organize virtual advocacy hours to contact state legislators and convey the concerns of AMSA members regarding anti-transgender legislation. You can sign up here to receive updates from AMSA Gender and Sexuality Action Committee.

Build Your Skills & Lift Your Voice to Policy-Makers

Protecting Access to Transgender Healthcare is one of the action topics at our upcoming Advocacy Day held in conjunction with our annual convention, we will be joined by Medical Students for a Sustainable Future (MS4SF), the Asian Pacific American Medical Student Association (APAMSA), Medical Students for Choice (MSFC). This year entitled Future Physicians for Change, convention is in Phoenix, Arizona, June 15-17. 

Explore Advocacy Day opportunities here, visit FP4Change.org to learn more and register here.


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