Rachel Levine, the Assistant Secretary of Health in the United States, delivered a speech on Wednesday during an event organized by the US Department of Education.
Levine, a biological male who identifies as a woman, emphasized the importance of "gender affirming care," which he referred to as child sex changes, stating that it is "medically necessary, safe, and effective for transgender and non-binary youth."
Additionally, Levine expressed the view that a child's trans identity can be seen as their "superpower."
Quoting Karine Jean-Pierre, Levine said "your identity is not your weakness, it is your superpower," adding, "we all have superpowers, we're superheroes” in reference to transgender identity in youth.
Levine and Jean-Pierre have both touted the Biden administration's preponderance of LGBTQ+-identifying staff.
The page for the "Inclusive and Nondiscriminatory School Environments for LGBTQI+ Students" event shows that it was designated as an "opportunity to learn about Federal resources and actionable, ready-to-use strategies for creating inclusive educational environments." Teachers and educators were encouraged to watch and "share concrete and practical tips" for the school year.
In the face of hatred, I personally opt to discover gratification in our collaborative endeavors aimed at enabling individuals to lead healthier lives.
During the speech, Levine highlighted the implementation of age-based limitations on "gender affirmation treatment" through laws in various states, which they described as acts of hatred. Levine specifically mentioned Utah, Florida, and several other states as examples where such measures have been enacted.
As the US Assistant Secretary of Health and a specialist in adolescent medicine, Levine maintains the belief that "based upon decades of research and medical evidence and analysis, and many respected medical organizations from many diverse fields, agree that gender-affirming care is medically necessary, safe and effective for transgender and non-binary youth."
Levine continued by saying that the "affirmative care" model is "suicide prevention care," adding that those who attack the "LGBTQI+ community are driven by an agenda that has nothing to do with... science [and] nothing to do with medical care."
Levine advocated against imposing restrictions on gender care, proposing instead the utilization of the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH) standards of care.
These standards, in the past, recommended the initiation of puberty blockers at Tanner Stage Two or "as soon as pubertal changes have begun."
The corresponding section asserts that the effects of puberty blockers are "fully reversible." An updated version of these standards emphasized that there should be no age limitations on sex change procedures for minors, as long as all parties involved concur on its appropriateness.
Concerns regarding the treatment of transgender care have been growing, particularly for young individuals, with a recent systematic review of several studies yielding "sparse and of very low quality" evidence supporting the benefits of the "gender-affirmation" model for youth.
The Tavistock clinic, the largest pediatric gender clinic in the UK, along with numerous European countries, have also ceased providing gender care for young individuals. The United States now stands apart as an outlier by endorsing sex changes for minors.