RALEIGH, NC – On April 14, 2021, more than 400 medical professionals from across North Carolina released a statement expressing strong opposition to HB358, a bill that would prohibit transgender students from participating in school athletics at the middle school, high school, and collegiate levels. Signatories of the statement, an effort coordinated by Equality NC, the Campaign for Southern Equality, and the ACLU of NC, include physicians, nurses, physician assistants, psychiatrists, and mental health professionals. Nearly all of the signers work directly with transgender adolescents or adults. 

The letter’s release comes the same day that HB358 will be heard by the North Carolina House Judiciary Committee. 

The letter (available here) reads, in part:

“Participation in athletics is a vital part of students’ well-being, including their physical, social, and emotional health; involvement in student sports provides young people with lessons about leadership, self-discipline, success, and failure. Transgender students, like other students, deserve the same chances to learn teamwork, sportsmanship, leadership and self-discipline, and to build a sense of belonging with their peers. When we tell transgender girls that they can't play girls' sports – or transgender boys that they can't play boys' sports – they miss out, and being excluded can lead to harmful outcomes with regard to social and emotional wellbeing.”

“Beyond that, we have significant concerns about the ethical and legal implications of HB358. The methods proposed for identifying trans athletes are invasive, and releasing the results of the methods are illegal under medical privacy laws. Releasing the results could also traumatically ‘out’ a child, forcing them to disclose their gender identity, before they may be ready to share.”

The letter also voices strong opposition to SB514 and SB515, two bills filed last week that would discriminate against LGBTQ people and other marginalized groups in healthcare. SB514 would specifically prohibit trans-affirming medical care for transgender people under the age of 21. Learn more about these bills by visiting https://ncisready.org/antilgbtq-bills.

Medical professionals who want to add their name to the statement can click here to sign on.

Medical providers who signed onto this list are available to speak with media about the letter and their opposition to HB358, as are advocates from Equality NC, the Campaign for Southern Equality, and the ACLU of NC.