Dr. Michelle Collins-Ogle, MD is a pediatrician who has been busy helping young people answer questions about their gender identity. Over the past two years, she has treated over 230 patients at Montefiore Children’s Hospital in the Bronx, New York. Specializing in adolescent medicine in New York, a state without restrictions for gender-affirming care, Collins-Ogle has seen the impact of the recent bans on gender-affirming medical care for minors that have been passed in 26 states.
Collins-Ogle has faced challenges in providing care, such as a couple who relocated from Texas to New York to ensure their child had access to gender-affirming medical care. The family was concerned about their child’s safety and faced protests and harassment. Many doctors have been hesitant to speak about the issue publicly due to threats and misinformation spread by conservative experts and social media accounts.
Despite the challenges, Collins-Ogle has continued to provide care, emphasizing the importance of supporting her patients. Various medical organizations, including the American Medical Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics, have also spoken out against new laws restricting gender-affirming medical care for teens and adolescents. These organizations have filed Amicus briefs in cases challenging new restrictions in several states.
The debate over gender identity and gender-affirming care has led to negative rhetoric and policies that impact young people seeking care. The misrepresentation of gender-affirming care in social media and political debates has created barriers for providing necessary care for young people.
The use of puberty blockers and other medications for treating gender dysphoria can have significant positive effects on the mental health and well-being of young people. Some opponents of gender-affirming care have raised concerns about the diagnosis of „rapid onset gender dysphoria“, highlighting the need for more evidence-based discussions about the medical treatment of gender dysphoria in young people.
The experiences of individuals who have detransitioned have also raised questions about the care provided to transgender youth. Regardless of these challenges, medical professionals and organizations are committed to ensuring access to gender-affirming care for young people, recognizing the significant benefits and positive impact of these treatments on mental health and well-being.