The Florida Board of Medicine will be meeting Friday in Dania Beach to discuss healthcare for transgender people, and LGBT advocates are planning to make their voices heard.
The board of 15 people is meeting at the Marriott FLL Airport/Dania Pointe in Dania Beach at 8 a.m. and is expected to last all day. The doors will open at 7 a.m. Equality Florida will be hosting a press conference at 9 a.m.
The board’s meetings are open to the public.
Dr. Joseph A. Ladapo, the state’s surgeon general, is asking the board to use guidance from the Florida Department of Health and the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration. The former released a statement in April going against the recommendations of the Office of Population Affairs, which sides with providing gender-affirming care.
The Florida Department of Health cited a paper that showed that “80% of those seeking clinical care will lose their desire to identify with the non-birth sex.” It also recommended the following for children: no social gender transitions, no puberty or hormone therapy, no gender reassignment surgery (stating it does harm), and seeking support from peers and counseling.
“Not only does the lived experience of countless transgender people tell us this isn’t true, but it’s also simply not supported by an enormous amount of scientific evidence,” Transinclusive said in an email to the public.
“Despite this overwhelming body of support for gender-affirming care for youth and adults from the nation’s foremost medical and mental health experts, we are seeing continued efforts to restrict access to this often life-saving care.”
In 2021, the American Medical Association called on state governments to not interfere with gender-affirming healthcare. Other groups in favor of providing medical treatment to transgender people, including children, includes the National Association of Social Workers, American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, American Academy of Pediatrics, Endocrine Society, National Alliance on Mental Illness, and World Professional Association for Transgender Health.
“As with all medical interventions, physicians are guided by their ethical duty to act in the best interest of their patients and must tailor recommendations about specific interventions and the timing of those interventions to each patient’s unique circumstances,” the American Medical Association wrote in a letter to the National Governors Association.
Lapado, the surgeon general of Florida, has made waves since he was appointed by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis in 2021. He proudly stated that Florida would be the first state to not recommend the COVID vaccine in children younger than 5 and he also would not share if he received the vaccine or not. He also refused to wear a mask while meeting with FL Sen. Tina Polsky, who was undergoing cancer treatments.
During the 9 a.m. press conference, there will be speakers from Transinclusive, Equality Florida, Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, and the University of Florida. Jeannette Jennings, the mother of Jazz Jennings, will also be present.