May 10, 2021


New York, NY, May 10, 2021 - GLAAD, the world’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) media advocacy organization, is responding to the Biden administration announcement reinstating healthcare protections for transgender Americans.

The Department of Health and Human Services announced that the Office for Civil Rights will interpret and enforce prohibitions on discrimination based on sex to include bias on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.

The announcement reverses the previous administration's attempts to revoke protections, an effort finalized and publicly released on June 12, 2020, the four-year mark of the attack on the Pulse nightclub that killed 49 people, many of whom were LGBTQ.

At least 42 bills have been proposed in 22 state legislatures this year to ban gender-affirming care for transgender youth. Arkansas became the first state to ban such care, overriding its governor’s veto.

Statement from GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis:
"Every American deserves equal treatment under the law, including healthcare treatment. The ability to see a doctor as your authentic self should never be blocked, made harder or put up for debate, as it is right now for transgender young people in states considering bans on life-saving healthcare for them. A majority of all Americans know and agree discrimination is wrong. The Equality Act will secure comprehensive protections for LGBTQ people into law. Every Senator should be pushing to get it passed for the health and safety of every American."

Every major medical association has issued statements supporting affirming care and against these bills.

GLAAD’s guide for journalists covering the state bills targeting transgender youth is here.

GLAAD’s guide to the Equality Act is here. 27 states have no protections against discrimination for LGBTQ people. 

GLAAD research shows overhwleming support for protections for LGBTQ people.

Polls show a majority of Americans of all faiths and political parties support nondiscrimination laws, and are against state bills looking to discriminate against LGBTQ people.

Transgender healthcare disparities noted here, including:

- 33% reported at least one negative experience related to being transgender including being refused treatment

- 23% reported they didn't seek health care due to fear of being mistreated

GLAAD tracked more than 200 attacks against LGBTQ Americans in policy and rhetoric from the previous administration in its Trump Accountability Project

GLAAD is documenting the Biden administration’s moves in its Biden Accountability Tracker.