Statement: Trans Rights are Human Rights
At NASTAD, our core values are the beliefs that every person has equal value and dignity, that access to quality healthcare is a basic human right, and that we have an obligation to dismantle systems that perpetuate social and racial injustice.
Across the country, we have seen a disturbing record of legislative attacks on gender-affirming care, the legal recognition of trans people, and what can be taught in classrooms. The small gains made by trans people in recent history are now being met with significant and hostile backlash.
The Trans Legislation Tracker is tracking bills that attack trans rights. The number of anti-trans bills introduced more than doubled between 2020 and 2021. That number rose from 144 to 174 in 2022. By May 2023, 541 anti-trans bills were introduced, already more than three times 2022’s record. This surge of legislation seeks to make the spaces in which we live, work, learn, and receive care unsafe and inhospitable, attempting to effectively erase trans people from public life.
These draconian bills are counter to evidence-based affirming, holistic and collaborative care strategies and are a targeted attack on an already vulnerable community for political gain. They come from a place of reactionary hate and fearmongering and are not based in reality. In fact, they seek to criminalize evidence-based care protocols every major medical association already supports.
NASTAD believes that the safety, dignity, and right to self-determination for trans people is paramount. These legislative attacks on bodily autonomy are occurring alongside a significant rise in violence against LGBTQ+ people. According to a recent study by the Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law, LGBTQ+ people are nine times more likely to be victims of violent hate crimes. The rise of anti-LGBTQ+ mobilization and trans-antagonistic rhetoric correlates with increased violence against the community: anti-LGBTQ+ incidents captured by the Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project (ACLED) more than tripled between 2021 and 2022.
NASTAD joins MPact Global and GATE in declaring homophobia and transphobia a public health crisis and advocating for the human rights of trans people. Discrimination on the basis of gender and sexuality makes LGBTQ+ people vulnerable to increased violence and creates barriers to housing, education, employment, and access to life-saving healthcare. As we work to bring an end to HIV and viral hepatitis, it is important to recognize the way homophobic and transphobic stigma have impacted our cultural response to these ongoing syndemics.
NASTAD is recommitting itself to protecting and advocating for the health and safety of trans people, and we call on our members and partners to do the same. Below is a list of resources and organizations to support who are doing great work right now to protect the trans community.
Download the PDF version of this statement here.
- White House Toolkit on Transgender Equality
- 2015 U.S. Transgender Survey
- National Center for Transgender Equality
- Athlete Ally
- Transgender Law Center
- Transgender Rights as Human Rights | AMA Journal of Ethics