Statement of World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH)

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On October 21, 2018, the New York Times published “’Transgender’ Could Be Defined Out of Existence Under Trump Administration,” in which journalists Erica L. Green, Katie Benner, and Robert Pear wrote that the “administration is considering narrowly defining gender as a biological, immutable condition determined by genitalia at birth, the most drastic move yet in a governmentwide effort to roll back recognition and protections of transgender people under federal civil rights law.
The press releases below, from WPATH and our US regional chapter, USPATH, present this Association’s immediate response. Further efforts will include preparing the scientific arguments to be delivered during the 60-day comment period once the new regulations are proposed in the Federal Register.
East Dundee, IL: October 23, 2018 WPATH Board Responds to Federal Effort to Redefine Gender The World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH) Board of Directors expresses its strongest disagreement with the intention of the Trump administration to define human gender as the sex recorded at birth based on visible genital formation and to restrict changes, all via regulation.
It has been known for decades that sex and gender cannot be determined solely by birth anatomy or chromosomes. More recently, the durable biological underpinnings for gender identity have become better understood within the mainstream medical and scientific communities. Further, the targeting of individuals or groups to deny medically-indicated care represents a violation of the professional oaths taken by us in the medical provider community.
The Trump administration’s past efforts to erase transgender people from American society indicate that its officials believe that XX or XY chromosomal testing to be definitive and definitional. However, this testing is insufficient to measure the known factors that affect the actual sex or gender of a sentient human being.
To acknowledge the diversity of sex and/or gender present in all human beings gives life and potential to those millions of people whose characteristics are not simply defined by sex chromosomes. Over the past 30 years, litigation throughout all levels of the US judicial system has proven time and again that human beings who are not reducible to chromosomes do deserve full equality, including access to employment, housing, public accommodations, education, and health care, along with all rights conferred by the US Constitution.
WPATH member physicians and researchers stand ready to testify before Congress to protect and defend the health and well-being of all transgender and gendernon-conforming people.

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