GILLIAN BRANSTETTER (NATIONAL WOMEN'S LAW CENTER): What Senator Paul said was offensive and disgusting, but more importantly, it was wrong. It was propaganda about the health care needs of 1 in 50 kids in this country. The fact of the matter is that transgender children are some of the most vulnerable kids in the country today. They are six times as likely to experience a suicide attempt as their peers, according to the Centers for Disease Control. But the good news is that accepting and affirming them and recognizing them for who they are is critical step to giving them the same chance at a full life as their peers.
For young children of the kind that Dr. Paul was about, this doesn't look like much more than a haircut, a new set of clothes, maybe a new name and pronouns at school. The entire public health community is behind the need to hear transgender children and respect them for who they are. These are not controversial questions amongst the people who actually do this research, amongst the doctors who actually work with these kids.
And it's critically important that if parents think that their child might be transgender, that they listen to their child, and they listen to their doctor. Please listen to your doctor, and don't listen to politicians who are spreading fears, and spreading lies, and just trying to get you to vote one way or another. Listen to your doctor and please give your child a chance to a happy life by affirming and respecting them for who they are.