The number of anti-LGBTQ+ bills circulating in state legislatures throughout the United States is mind-boggling. All of these bills are sponsored by Republican politicians. It is a coordinated attack by the G.O.P. on LGBTQ+ children. The Arkansas bill that was passed into law this week makes it illegal for doctors to offer transgender children gender affirming care. In other words, doctors cannot provide hormone treatment, puberty blockers, or surgery to anyone under 18 years old. This law takes away the ability of a parent to get their child the life-saving medical care they need. According to The Trevor Project’s 2020 National Survey on LGBTQ Youth Mental Health, “40% of LGBTQ respondents seriously considered attempting suicide in the past twelve months, with more than half of transgender and nonbinary youth having seriously considered suicide.” This is the reality that parents of LGBTQ+ youth live with every day.

The single most effective thing that parents of queer youth can do is accept and affirm their children. Part of affirming them is getting them the medical care they need. A minor child can only receive gender confirming hormone therapy, puberty blockers, or surgery after they have received care from a mental health provider. Parents must get counseling for their children first, and then both parents must agree before pursuing gender affirming care. This is a careful informed consent process. A minor child does not make any of these decisions on their own. This process is time-consuming and expensive, but parents do this because they love their children, and it is the right thing to do. Parents of LGBTQ+ youth know the suicide statistics and want to help their children have happy childhoods and reach their full potential.

Obviously, there is not one set of rules for every parent in the United States. Most parents are trusted to get their children the health care they need. Doctors and mental health professionals are typically considered to be experts in their field and capable of caring for their patients. However, parents of transgender and nonbinary youth are not trusted with the care of their own children. The rights of parents of LGBTQ+ youth are being taken away one legislative bill at a time.

Rainbow Advice

I'm the parent of LGBTQ+ children and I want to empower other parents to advocate for their children. If you can't find an answer on this site, please email me at I will try to locate helpful resources for you.