FORT MYERS, Fla. — On Thursday, the Southwest Florida community reacted, after the Florida Department of Health issued guidance for adolescents wanting to undergo gender transition.
The state-issued guidance for medical treatment means there are no concrete changes to laws or the treatment itself.
Arlene Goldberg’s non-profit support service called Visuality provides support for children and is now at the center of a widely debated issue, gender transitioning.
On Wednesday, the Florida Department of Health issued new guidance for medical professionals saying children or teenagers should not have the option to undergo gender transition surgery.
Goldberg said that guidance fuels the fears of LGBTQ+ community members, afraid to be who they are.
“There are more than people think there are because they are not out in public… because of this, they cant be themselves,” said Goldberg.
Let’s take a closer look at Gender Dysphoria.
According to the Department of Health and Human Services, it’s defined as “clinically significant distress that a person may feel when sex or gender assigned at birth is not the same as their identity”
Treatment options include procedures like gender transition, puberty blockers, and hormone therapy.
The Department of Health and Human Services said those options, improve the mental health and overall well-being of gender-diverse children and adolescents.
Florida’s guidance said there is a lack of evidence to support these approaches.
Florida Surgeon General Joseph Ladapo said in a press release,
“Children experiencing Gender Dysphoria should be supported by family and seek counseling, not pushed into an irreversible decision before they reach 18.”
Arlene Goldberg, tells me she doesn't see from the same viewpoint.
“It's a hard life, it is not easy. You think that a parent would want their child to have an easy life so a lot of times parents are not happy with their kids falling into those categories, however, it's harder when they cant be who they want to be, who they are,” said Goldberg.
The Florida Department of Health said countries like Sweden, Finland, and the United Kingdom are reviewing and reevaluating their treatment of Gender Dysphoria in children and adolescents.