Senior officials in the Biden administration hosted a roundtable at the White House about “affirming transgender kids” last week on “Transgender Day of Visibility.”
United States Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy and White House Domestic Policy Council Director Susan Rice hosted a number of “transgender kids and their parents” on Friday to discuss efforts in some states to ban so-called sex change surgeries for minors. Attendees discussed the “joys, hopes, and challenges” associated with their identities.
“As one round table participant shared, it feels scary when the politicians elected to represent you don’t care about your wellbeing,” a readout of the meeting from the White House stated. “Families participating in today’s roundtable also highlighted that transgender kids can thrive when parents love and affirm their transgender children, and when transgender kids have access to the support they need at school and in their communities.”
Rice and Murthy in response reiterated the Biden administration’s commitment to “standing up for the rights of transgender kids and their parents, and to challenging state laws that harm transgender kids,” as well as thanked the families “for their unwavering advocacy and bravery in challenging these discriminatory laws.”
Officials such as Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) and Gov. Kim Reynolds (R-IA) have passed or enacted bans on child sex change treatments and procedures. The readout from the White House voiced opposition to similar legislative proposals in Arizona, Texas, and Virginia.
The roundtable hosted by the Biden administration occurred days after a 28-year-old woman who identified as a man killed three children and three adults last week at The Covenant School, a ministry of the conservative evangelical Covenant Presbyterian Church in Nashville, Tennessee. The attack came weeks after Gov. Bill Lee (R-TN) endorsed legislation that bans sex change procedures, such as mastectomies for girls who believe they are boys, as well as hormones and puberty blockers purporting to transition a child to the opposite sex. Another bill signed by Lee prohibits sexually suggestive drag shows in public or near children.
The industry surrounding transgender surgeries is expected to reach a $5 billion valuation by the end of the decade, according to a recent report from Grand View Research. While insurance companies such as Aetna and Unicare may cover some components of sex reassignment surgeries, including hysterectomies and ovariectomies, Grand View Research said that “government support is also driving the market” through Medicare coverage.
The White House has received criticism for neglecting to mention that the motive behind the Nashville massacre appears to have been centered on the victims’ theologically conservative Christian faith. Senior administration officials have nevertheless been vocal in their support for “Transgender Day of Visibility” and used the occasion to claim that those claiming to be a member of the opposite sex are “under attack” in the United States.
“Since President Biden’s first day in office, the administration has taken historic steps to advance equality, dignity, and safety for transgender Americans, and he is the first President in history to discuss the importance of expanding equality and combating attacks on the rights of transgender Americans in every State of the Union or joint session of Congress address,” a statement from the White House noted. “While transgender Americans have an unwavering champion in the President, conservative politicians have advanced hundreds of anti-transgender laws in states across the country so far this year, putting the fundamental rights and freedoms of trans Americans at risk.”