Call on Children’s Hospital to Show their Commitment to People who Need Gender-Affirming Care
On October 20th, on the west steps of the Colorado State Capitol, our community came together and made it known that we will not stand for threats to people who need gender-affirming care or attacks on our trans youth of Colorado. Thank you to all who showed up for the gender-affirming care rally, especially Parasol Patrol, The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, our speakers, and of course our elected officials, Representative Titone, Representative Valdez, and Representative Froelich. We’d also like to thank all of you who could not attend in person but demonstrated support from afar. We want you to know that we are committed to protecting and fighting for our trans community and we are asking you to stay with us and sign our letter showing Children’s Hospital that their recent decisions harmfully impact our community.
Since Children’s Hospital Colorado made the decision to abruptly halt gender-affirming surgery for young adult patients in July, One Colorado has been working with them and a coalition of community partners to address the impacts of this decision. While Children’s Hospital continues to state that this decision is due to an “unprecedented volume of referrals” for said care and a need to “reallocate resources,” they have demonstrated a lack of understanding of the long term and systemic impacts of their decision. There is a lack of transparency around this decision and whether they are working to invest in and expand their gender-affirming services, which are in high demand. One Colorado is deeply concerned about the impact this decision has had on our community and believe it necessitates a transparent public conversation, as it affects the rights of trans people on individual, community, and nationwide levels.
The decision, first and foremost, impacted the patients that entrusted their care to Children’s Hospital. We understand that hospitals do have to make the challenging decision to end services. However, this is a choice that should be handled intentionally and with a carefully laid out plan to minimize the impact to patient care. That did not happen. These actions have real consequences for real people. Patients who have already waited years for surgery will now have to wait longer for care that affirms who they are and helps them feel comfortable and safe in their own body. This can have severe and lasting consequences on mental health. Children’s Hospital’s lack of transparency negatively impacted their patients and will continue to bring harm to the community if it continues.
This decision also impacts other providers in Colorado who deliver comprehensive gender-affirming care. As a gender-affirming care sanctuary state, we know our medical community is overwhelmed. Every gender-affirming care provider has a waitlist. Trans and gender expansive Coloradans are already struggling to find competent providers and facilities. With one less option and current facilities needing to absorb the patients that Children’s will no longer serve, the challenge to access care in a timely manner only gets harder. This is a time when our communities need to be working together; not making decisions in silos.
Across the country, there has been a coordinated attack on our trans youth. 35% of trans youth now live in states where their healthcare is banned. In the midst of this reality, Colorado has emerged as a leader–a sanctuary state–hitting impressive milestones for LGBTQ+ rights. States across the country are watching us and following our lead. Our biggest concern moving forward is the precedent this decision sets, and the impacts it could have across the state and the country. Since Colorado is a sanctuary state, we must ensure the individuals fleeing here for services, as well as those who already live in Colorado, receive the accessible care and treatment they deserve and were promised.
Our leaders, medical providers and community must come together to make this care happen. This decision by Children’s is a step away from that commitment. In a time when health care for the trans community is being politicized, we cannot have allied providers and facilities stepping away from that care for any reason. We must stand in solidarity with the trans and gender expansive community. This is a time for real and visible allyship because frankly, we can’t afford to accept anything less. We must stand firmly in opposition to the political attacks and disinformation that are creating fear and division not just across our country but right here in our home state.
We need your support. Since July, One Colorado, in coordination with a coalition of LGBTQ+ partner organizations and leaders, has been working with Children’s Hospital in an effort to find a solution that best serves our community. Our coalition sent requests to Children’s Hospital in an effort to correct the situation. Their responses have been insufficient and opaque. Children’s Hospital has a rich history in serving Coloradans at their most vulnerable times. We are asking them to show up for the community and be the leaders we have known them to be. We are asking for more transparency around their decision making to reassure the gender-expansive community and our allies that they want to continue supporting us. We’re asking for strong visible allyship in a time where our healthcare and our existence is being erased, politicized, and polarized.
The letter will be open until November 10th to share and collect signatures. Please share it far and wide! The intent of this letter is to share our concerns with Children’s Hospital about their decision and ask them to be more transparent with the community. We are also calling on them to be a more visible ally in their gender-affirming care work.
If you were a patient of Children’s Hospital that was impacted by this decision and would like to engage with our efforts and/or share your story please reach out to us at email@example.com