OUTMemphis was made aware through community members and partners that one of Shelby County’s primary providers of gender affirming surgical options has cancelled all trans-related care moving forward. You can learn about the experience of a recent patient from our community here. Our current information tells us that Methodist Hospital and its affiliates are no longer providing any trans-related surgeries. This update comes just a few weeks after Tennessee’s leading Republican legislators proposed HB1/SB1, a ban on gender-affirming care for minors, as the first bill of the 2023 legislative session. If that bill becomes law, it would be among the nation’s strictest and most punitive bans.

“Accessing gender-affirming surgery with Methodist providers was effectively the sole option for our local trans family. Without this access, trans people must look to options hours away — a barrier many can’t overcome.  We are disappointed and deeply concerned that our health care institutions are influenced by threats of state legislation. We urge Memphis’ and regional healthcare providers to focus on the very real needs of trans and non-binary patients.  Instituting unnecessary policies and restrictions directly harm trans and non-binary community members. The burden and effort of seeking out these life-saving services impact peoples’ mental health, financial stability, and overall quality of life.  

 

Decisions like this coming from a healthcare facility are deeply disturbing as it is counterintuitive to the goal of improving peoples’ health and quality of life. Trans people utilizing the transitional steps of their needs should not be a decision made by politicians, but between individuals and their health care team. We believe that equitable, accessible health care is a human right, and we urge all local healthcare providers to take seriously their commitment to our community.  Trans folks in the South face a perilously low access to basic health and wellness services, and we are crushed to see this safety net even more limited. OUTMemphis staff are here to provide support, find medical providers, and any other resources for our community members. 

 

We condemn in the strongest possible terms the influence of politics and legislation on healthcare decisions. As we head into the 2023 legislative session, we call on health and social service providers in the Mid-South to stand up for the basic rights of trans individuals.” — OUTMemphis 

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