The Human Rights Campaign Foundation — in partnership with the AAP and the American College of Osteopathic Pediatricians — today released a comprehensive support guide for the parents, allies and health care providers of transgender children.

Developed in association with AAP/ACOP physicians and mental healthprofessionals who have worked extensively with transgender children, the support guide, Supporting and Caring for Transgender Children, is intended to detail what it means for children to be transgender and why medical experts now embrace a “gender-affirming” approach.

“We know more than ever before about what transgender children need to grow up safe and healthy, and a large part of that is being accepted, nurtured and supported in their gender identity by their family, physicians and community,” Karen Remley, MD, MBA, MPH, FAAP,executive director and CEO of the AAP, said in the press release. “We hope this new guide will become a useful tool for anyone who has a transgender child in their life.”

While the guide provides easy to understand explanations of gender identity, fluidity, exploration and how identity differs from sexual orientation, it also is intended to help dispel misinformation that has provided a platform for North Carolina’s discriminatory HB2 law that denied transgender people access to public restrooms and facilities based on their gender identity.

Portions of HB2, also known as the Public Facilities Privacy and Security Act, directly addressed children in public schools, and stated that, “in no event shall that accommodation result in the local boards of education allowing a student to use a multiple occupancy bathroom or changing facility … for a sex other than the student’s biological sex.”

“The ACOP is excited to be a part of this guide providing pediatricians, otherprimary care physicians, allied health staffs, patients, families and caretakers with this vital information for transgender youth,” ACOP President, Carl R. Backes, DO, FACOP, said in the release. “We suggest all efforts ensuring transgender young people be respected and valued.”

In addition to its backing of the support guide, the AAP is developing a policy statement on caring for transgender youth that it plans to publish in 2017.

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