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Oppose California AB-2218, Amend to Include Detransitioners

This petition had 1,335 supporters

(California residents are encouraged to contact their state senator and assemblymember directly, in addition to signing this petition.)

Dear Members of the California State Senate and Assembly,

Assembly Bill 2218 (AB-2218) seeks to establish within the state budget a new “transgender wellness and equity fund” (previously estimated by bill authors to cost $15,000,000), which would benefit specifically “trans-led” parties in provision of “gender-conforming healthcare services”.

While we commend the authors of this bill for their intention to improve the healthcare of sexual and gender minorities, we are concerned their language continues to exclude the relevant and rising experiences and needs of detransitioners (gender desisters).

We ask you oppose AB-2218, and we ask you urge its authors amend to name detransitioners among the beneficiaries of the fund, and to name detransition healthcare as a covered service.

Detransitioners are gender-nonconformists—often same-sex attracted, sometimes intersex—who were not helped by gender-affirming care, and who were in many cases actively harmed by the care model that this bill promotes.
Detransitioners are an emergent and rapidly growing group. Individual profiles have been published in recent years by The Atlantic, the BBC, CBC Radio Canada, The Daily Signal, The Guardian, the Huffington Post, IJR, the Independent, Paper, Sky News, The Stranger, The Sydney Morning Herald, Them, USA Today, and Vocativ. The first and largest online community of detransitioners, r/detrans on Reddit, has grown to include over 6,000 detransitioners in a mere two years.
Just last October, The Detransition Advocacy Network petitioned the National Institutes of Health Sexual & Gender Minority Research Office (NIH SGMRO) to acknowledge the existence of detransitioners for the first time, and to include detransitioners’ needs in their upcoming budget plans. That petition exceeded 1,000 signatures in only one month, and the NIH SGMRO quickly added detransition as a “scientific research gap area” in their next publication (their upcoming budget has yet to be announced).
Detransitioners’ numbers and experiences have long been downplayed by unreasonable terminologies and methodologies within the medical community. Even worse, new and unbiased attempts at scientific research into detransitioners’ demographics, well-being, and medical needs have been censured. Detransitioners are a repressed community, presumably for not fitting the dominant prescription of gender-affirmative transition to alleviate gender dysphoria. Partisan, identity-based activism has inappropriately taken precedence over evidence-based care and the credo first to do no harm.
Detrans folk have experienced gross mistreatment and neglect by the status quo of gender-affirmative healthcare professionals. Many detransitioners have been irrevocably harmed and traumatized, both mentally and physically, by the gender-affirmation model. This radical medicalization too-often presents inadequate differential diagnostic procedures, and it unfairly labels noninvasive approaches to gender dysphoria with politicized slurs. It is especially harmful to individuals not yet of neurological maturity, and to those of atypical neurology.
None of the trans-led groups that would benefit from AB-2218 make any mention of detransitioners on their websites or in their published materials. The era of denying the existence of detransitioners ends now.

Detransitioners deserve better. Desistance from transition shouldn’t be shamed. Discussion, research, and support for detransitioners shouldn’t be taboo. The needs of detransitioners are urgent and largely unmet. They include:

* Social interaction and re-integration;
* Suicide prevention;
* Psychological referrals free of gender-affirmation;
* Primary-care physician referrals free of gender-affirmation;
* Endocrinologist referrals free of gender-affirmation;
* Access to same-sex HRT;
* Access to facial and bodily hair-removal for females;
* Surgical referrals for chest/breast and genital reconstruction in males and females;
* Research efforts to develop donated organ transplants;
* Research efforts to develop laboratory-regenerated organ implants;
* General questions of what outcomes, timelines, and strategies to expect and achieve in detransition, based on sex, age, duration of transition, and methods of transition;
* As well as many legal questions, such as guidance and options in document restoration, and options for post-transition justice.

Again, we commend the intention of this bill’s authors. But we take great issue with their bill’s current form.
Please oppose AB-2218. Please urge its authors amend their bill to name detransitioners among the intended audience for this bill, and detransition as a covered service. Thank you.

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