March 11, 2022
In current national news, Florida’s “Parent’s Rights Education Bill” (also known as the “Don’t Say Gay” bill), and Texas’s Directive to “licensed professionals” and “members of the general public” to report to Child Protective Services parents of transgender/non-binary youth who are or may be pursuing trans-affirmative medical care have been passed (up-to-date information on these legislations can be found here and here). CAPS condemns these discriminatory and persecutory acts in the strongest possible terms, and stands in solidarity and support with all UCSB students across the sex and gender diversity spectrum.
National and world events directly affect the mental health and well-being of us all, and can cause anxiety and depression symptoms, anger and hurt, trauma response, and other impairments and distress. It is natural and normal to have reactions to these events, which have been roundly condemned by the American Psychological Association (see below), the American Medical Association, and numerous political action and academic institutions. If you or anyone you care about are or have been affected by the news of these (and other anti-LGBTQ+ legislations), CAPS is here to help process, validate, support, heal and advocate. We also recommend seeking and creating safe spaces to talk with friends and loved ones about these events, and how they affect mental health, social wellbeing, and civic engagement. Additionally, the RCSGD (Resource Center for Sex and Gender Diversity) in the Student Resource Building is available for resources, safe spaces, advocacy and community.
The APA (American Psychological Association) has also voiced their condemnation as well, stating, of the Texas Directive, “this ill-conceived directive from the Texas governor will put at-risk children at even higher risk of anxiety, depression, self-harm, and suicide. Gender-affirming care promotes the health and well-being of transgender youth and is provided by medical and mental health professionals, based on well-established scientific research. The peer-reviewed research suggests that transgender children and youth who are treated with affirmation and receive evidence-based treatments tend to see improvements in their psychological well-being. Asking licensed medical and mental health professionals to ‘turn in’ parents who are merely trying to give their children needed and evidence-based care would violate patient confidentiality as well as professional ethics. The American Psychological Association opposes politicized intrusions into the decisions that parents make with medical providers about caring for their children.”
If you find yourself in need of support, here are some local and national options:
- Counseling & Psychological Services (24/7) – 805-893-4411
- Text Crisis Line (24/7) – Text “HOME” to 741-741
- The Trevor Project (24/7) – More information about phone, chat, and text support: https://www.thetrevorproject.org/get-help/