4/15/2016
Dear Governor McCrory,
 
On behalf of the Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine, I urge you to repeal HB 2. The Society for
Adolescent Health and Medicine (SAHM) is a multidisciplinary organization committed to improving the physical and psychosocial health and well-being of all adolescents through advocacy, clinical care, health promotion, health service delivery, professional development and research. Our organization consists of adolescent and young adult health and medical experts who have years of professional experience working with Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ) youth. We believe that all youth deserve safe school and communit environments in which to learn and grow.
 
HB 2 sends a message that it is “OK” for Trans and Gender Nonconforming (TGNC) youth to be treated differently which can ultimately lead to stigmatization and harm (both physically and mentally) of these young people.
 
Research data indicate that when any sexual minority youth experiences this type of stigmatization, the result can be depression, substance abuse, school failure and even suicide. Further, HB 2 severely undercuts antidiscrimination efforts in North Carolina and submits these promising and vulnerable youth to significant potential harms as they progress through their schooling and transition to the workforce. There is no scientific proof that forcing Trans and Gender Nonconforming Youth to use separate bathrooms and locker rooms leads to any benefit for either these youth or their peers, and there is no grounds of any sort for excluding sexual minority citizens from basic anti-discrimination protections.
 
During the complex and difficult confluence of physical, social, and emotional development that characterizes adolescence, youth are deeply affected by messages regarding identity and personal value. HB 2 specifically singles these youth out as less worthy of protections and supports, regardless of their contributions to our communities.
 
Sexual minority youth thrive and succeed when they are supported well by their schools, communities, and families. HB 2 undermines the potential for these students to feel safe and valued, and to ultimately succeed.

Based on rigorous review of scientific data as well as our breadth of knowledge about LGBTQ youth, the Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine urges you to repeal HB 2 and stand alongside the rights of all young people who seek to live each day free of discrimination and stigmatization.

Sincerely,
 
Gregory D. Zimet, PhD, FSAHM
President, Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine
Professor of Pediatrics & Clinical Psychology
Indiana University School of Medicine
 
 

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