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TDM Talk: N.C.’s Law Banning Gender-Affirming Healthcare is Discriminatory and Unjust

Articles Sep 6, 2023

What if you were denied the right to make healthcare decisions for your child?

On August 16, North Carolina politicians voted to ban gender-affirming healthcare for nonbinary and transgender youth statewide – even if their parents think the treatment is best for them. 

Elizabeth Waugh of Orange County, a parent of a nonbinary child, told the Associated Press that she has been weighing whether to move out of North Carolina so her child could have access to gender-affirming health care. “I have felt like I had a lump in my throat for months,” she said, when the law was passed.

There is no medical reason for banning the treatment, as every major medical association in the nation, including the American Medical Association, describe gender-affirming healthcare as safe and medically necessary for mental health. Numerous research studies have found that gender-affirming care leads to improved mental health – and lower risk of suicide – among transgender and nonbinary youth. Gender-affirming medical care for those younger than 18 typically includes counseling and hormone therapy. Surgery is generally reserved for adults according to guidelines from experts on gender-affirming medical care

The new law merely codifies discrimination, denying nonbinary and transgender youth the treatment they need to live healthy and happy lives. 

North Carolina is now among 22 states with laws that discriminate against LGBTQ+ people. While the roughly 8,500 nonbinary and transgender youth statewide and their families will feel the immediate impact of these unjust laws, they aren’t the only ones who will be harmed. 

Business leaders who remember North Carolina’s 2016 “bathroom bill” know that discrimination is bad for business. The law, also known as HB2, cost the state more than $600 million in lost revenue before it was reversed. Currently, states that have passed anti-LGBTQ+ laws are seeing the effects of excluding the LGBTQ+ community, a population that controls $1.4 trillion in consumer spending. The tourism and convention industry in Florida has been hurt, with cities like Orlando and Fort Lauderdale reporting cancellations and lower bookings this year. 

Anti-LGBTQ+ laws create a “brain drain” that hurts the entire state economy. Companies located in states with discriminatory laws have trouble recruiting and retaining employees, as top talent may leave or refuse to locate to states with discriminatory laws. According to a Wells Fargo report, states with more LGBTQ+ individuals have statistically higher rates of economic growth. 

At The Diversity Movement, we help organizations create inclusive workplaces by promoting equity and eliminating discrimination. We invite you to support nonbinary and transgender youth and their parents, caregivers, families, and communities by taking the following actions:


TDM Staff

A disruptor in the world of diversity training vendors, our experts leverage the intersection of education, coaching, technology, and analytics to help build thriving, sustainable workplace cultures.