How to Help Transgender Youth with Anti-Trans Laws


This year, the state of Georgia entered the list of the host of other states that have enacted anti-trans legislation. I was watching the hearings at the Capital this winter and was appalled when the committee not only voted in favor of passing SB140 legislation banning gender affirming care for our transgender youth under age 18, but at the last minute, added the ability for medical providers to face civil and criminal charges for providing care. What happened next has been nothing short of a nightmare for families of transgender youth in Georgia. First, there was hope that our Governor would not sign the bill, but he did, in March. After that, families were left scrambling to find medical care for their children so they could start hormones or have surgery before the July 1st 2023 deadline that the state set for youth to be able to continue hormones if they were already receiving care before that date.

How The Laws Affect Youth

Unfortunately, not every family was able to get their child care or a prescription before July 1st. Not every family or every adolescent was ready to make the decision to start hormones before July 1st as well.  This bill put families and our youth in the very unnecessary, delicate balance of needing to make decisions about their long-term gender affirming medical care and when they were ready to transition. I can assure you that just because a youth was not immediately ready to transition, it does not mean that they won’t have life altering gender dysphoria in the future, most likely in the 5 years or more they may now have to wait now until they can legally begin life saving gender affirming medical care in the state of Georgia.

My clients are devastated. They are rightfully angry. Some of them felt rushed, some of them felt like the state was doing the exact opposite of the name of the bill and doing everything they could to not protect our children. If you are a transgender affirming medical or mental health provider, a parent of a transgender child or a strong ally to the community, I am not telling you anything you don’t already know. What we must figure out now is what do we do about the harm that is being done to our transgender youth in the aftermath of the July 1st deadline for starting gender affirming hormone treatment in Georgia?

What You Can do to Help Transgender Youth

The very first most important thing you can do in a transgender youth’s life is to let them know you love them unconditionally without fail, including their gender identity and that you will honor their name and pronouns. Our teenagers are not dumb, and they are not as naïve as we think.  They can and do recognize when someone, especially a parent or grandparent shows them love, respect, kindness and advocates for them.

If you can travel to provide your child with gender affirming hormones or surgery, it could be worth researching which states still allow a doctor to prescribe hormones to transgender children and travel to that state to see a medical provider and pick up your child’s prescriptions. Unfortunately, this is a privilege that is outside of reality for most families. I believe that is what our state was counting on when they made this law. I know many of my clients have been asking their parents to move to a transgender affirming sanctuary state and I know it must be heart breaking as parent when this just isn’t possible.

Whether or not traveling for transgender affirming care is an option on the table, then the next thing we need to do for our youth and teenagers is to get them the support they need right now. Transgender teenagers need people besides their parents in their corner right now. Is your child attending a transgender support group? Do you allow them time with their friends, especially their queer friends? Have you had a conversation with their extended family members about their actual (affirmed) gender identity and the name and pronouns they must now be called if it is safe to do so? Have you connected your child with a therapist that specializes in gender identity or at least is knowledgeable and competent to not provide conflicting treatment? I often have parents who bring their children to see me after another provider has made an off comment to their child, that they may not have even realized they did something wrong. I highly recommend connecting your child or loved one to a support group like your local PFLAG and a gender specialist that can help them process their gender identity and how the state of the nation will affect their ongoing health to build the best protective factors and resiliency that you can in your child’s mental well-being. The Campaign for Southern Equality also has a website here with resources for families including an application for emergency grants for trans affirming care.

Reach Out For More Help From Me

I offer telehealth gender affirming individual and family sessions to children and teenagers ages 12 and older located in Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Florida, and Texas. If you have any questions or would like to reach out for a free ten minute consultation, you can book an appointment now on my website here (request an appointment) or reach out to to schedule an appointment or brief consultation.

For clinicians: CEU Opportunity

For therapists and clinicians: I will be teaching a 2 hour ethics CEU on September 29th, 2023 at 10:30am EST via live webinar about how these bills affect our clients and how we as therapists can ethically respond. You may register and find out more here.



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Decatur, GA 30030

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