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Position Statement on the Dignity and Rights of Transgender, Gender Nonbinary, and Gender Nonconforming Individuals

AASECT in the strongest possible terms reaffirms its commitment to the dignity and rights of all transgender, gender nonbinary, and gender nonconforming people.

As reported by the New York Times on October 21, 2018:

"Sex means a person's status as male or female based on immutable biological traits identifiable by or before birth,'; the department proposed in the memo, which was drafted and has been circulating since last spring. ‘The sex listed on a person’s birth certificate, as originally issued, shall constitute definitive proof of a person's sex unless rebutted by reliable genetic evidence."

"The new definition would essentially eradicate federal recognition of the estimated 1.4 million Americans who have opted to recognize themselves - surgically or otherwise - as a gender other than the one they were born into."

"For the last year, health and human services has privately argued that the term 'sex' was never meant to include gender identity or even homosexuality, and that the lack of clarity allowed the Obama administration to wrongfully extend civil rights protections to people who should not have them." ('Transgender’ Could Be Defined Out of Existence Under Trump Administration)

The notion that anyone should be denied civil rights on the basis of gender identity, gender expression, or sexual orientation is abhorrent and runs counter to basic human dignity. We believe the above position to be legally untenable, scientifically inaccurate, and morally reprehensible. Should the position outlined in the administration’s memo be enacted, overwhelming scientific data clearly indicate it will lead to harm and the death of many.

The positions outlined in the administration memo seek to establish a framework that would:

1. Dehumanize those lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, gender nonbinary, gender nonconforming, queer, intersex, and all other people living lives of sexual and/or gender diversity.

2. Ignore the overwhelming scientific data acknowledging that sex, gender, and sexual orientation exist on a spectrum.

3. Increase the health and safety risks to those lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, gender nonbinary, gender nonconforming, queer, intersex, and all other people living lives of sexual and/or gender diversity by establishing an environment where such identities are disaffirmed.

Recognizing the many threats posed by such policies, AASECT joins with numerous other organizations to stand against the current administration and in solidarity with transgender, gender nonbinary, and gender nonconforming individuals.

Moreover, whether or not the policies outlined in the administration’s memo are enacted or are adjudicated and ultimately ruled unconstitutional, it is the position of AASECT that such perspectives are intended to create a climate of fear and repression, and are in direct opposition to AASECT’s mission to promote sexual health and commitment to social justice.

It is therefore the position of AASECT that all attempts to limit or deny the fundamental human rights or very existence of transgender, gender nonbinary, or gender nonconforming individuals must be considered a threat to an already vulnerable population. We fervently maintain that all threats to dehumanize anyone for any reason should be urgently resisted.

AASECT members - medical professionals and researchers - stand ready to testify before Congress to protect and defend the health and well-being of all transgender and gender- nonconforming people.


Bailey, L., Ellis, SJ, McNeil, J. (2014). Suicide risk in the UK trans population and the role of gender transition in decreasing suicidal ideation and suicide attempt. Mental Health Review Journal. View Source.

Glynn, TR., Gamarel, KE., Kahler, CW. Iwamoto, M., Operario, D., Nemoto, T. (2016). The role of gender affirmation in psychological well-being among transgender women. Psychology of Sexual Orientation and Gender Diversity. View Source.

Hidalgo, MA., Ehrensaft, D., Tishelman, AC, Clark, LF., Garofolo, R., Rosenthal, SM., Spack, NP., Olson, J. (2013, October). The Gender Affirmative Model: What We Know and What We Aim to Learn. Human Development. View Source.

Klein, A. & Golub, S. (2016). Family Rejection as a Predictor of Suicide Attempts and Substance Misuse Among Transgender and Gender Nonconforming Adults. LGBT Health. View Source.

Pediatric Endocrine Society Transgender Health Special Interest Group. (2016, October 20). Statement on Gender Affirmative Approach to Care from the Pediatric Endocrine Society Special Interest Group on Transgender Health. View Source.

The World Professional Association for Transgender Health. (2011). Standards of Care for the Health of Transsexual, Transgender, and Gender Nonconforming People.