HealthCare is Caring

Parents play a critical role in ensuring that transgender youth get the care and support they need, including supportive healthcare. Transgender healthcare is recognized as the standard of care by every major medical association, including the American Medical Association, the American Psychological Association, and the American Academy of Pediatrics. The treatments are safe and effective, and the same treatments have long been prescribed for other related medical conditions for non-transgender youth.

Still, many legislators continue to push harmful policies that prevent transgender youth from getting the healthcare they need and deserve. We’re working to stop these harmful bills and show the politicians behind them that transgender youth and their families are not alone.

With your help, we can make sure transgender youth always have access to the care they need.

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Explore Real Stories

Cameron and Myriam

Cameron and Myriam


Dear Mom,

When I first came out as trans, you and I were in an argument. I don’t fully remember what it was about, but we were screaming at each other. You were yelling, and all of a sudden, I yelled back, “Maybe it’s because I want to be a boy!” You went completely silent, looked at me, and said, “Oh,” then walked out of my room.

I was 11 years old when I said that. You walked back into my room, sat on my bed, and talked to me about what I said and how I felt. You wanted to know how you could help me.

I’m pretty sure you thought it was a phase at first, but you went to your room and did research on being trans.

Soon after, we talked about what I wanted to do. I wanted to cut my hair, wear boys’ underwear, and change my name. You were very patient with me and very accepting of me.

Weeks after that, or maybe longer, we went to cut my hair. I was so excited and happy, I felt free.
You didn’t really want me to cut my hair, but you knew it was what I wanted and put me before yourself. Even now you would do anything for me. I don’t know where I would be if I didn’t have your support.

I have always been okay with someone misgendering me or calling me by the wrong name. But whenever that happens around you, you get really upset and always stand up for me. I know if I asked, you’d yell at someone for me.

When you took me to my first appointment to get hormone blockers, you made sure it was what I wanted and supported me through everything.

You’ve taken me all over to advocate for myself and all trans youth.
I know you care and are really supportive.

Even Dad tries his best at supporting me. He asks me about all the trans “gadgets” and if I want one or have thought about it.
I am truly thankful for you. All the time, money, and energy spent on my life and well-being proves you would do anything for me. Through all the support I’ve gotten, I have been able to be myself and live comfortably.

I know it was a big change for you, but you call me by my name and love me with all your heart. And I am happy with who you’ve raised.


Allie and Sean

Allie and Sean

New York

Dear Dad,

The night I came out to you as transgender, I wrote you a letter. I was a slop of anxiety and sweat, my heart racing faster than when I pounded six Rockstar Energies to write a paper within 24 hours of its due date. Would you react with confusion? Probably. Fury? Maybe. Love?

I wrote you a letter because it was my only option. What was I gonna do, sit there and speak to you? Face to face? Ohhhh no, no ma’am. My clinically depressed 15 year old self wouldn’t have been able to get the words out, so she poured them onto the page.

December 2015 was the fastest month of my life. All I remember is a breakneck blur of scouring internet forums, inhaling stories, and Googling arcane terminology. The pit in my stomach grew and grew until I could no longer hold it in because I knew what I had to do and it terrified me.

I sat in my room for 30 minutes while you read and discussed your identical printed copies of my letter. My head hurtled forward at lightspeed until those 30 minutes were up and time stopped on a dime. I crawled out of my bedroom through Jell-O air, and you turned your heads to look at me, your faces displaying a certain cocktail of emotions which still has no name. You both opened your arms wide for a hug, and I had never felt so loved in my life.

Mom, you helped me choose my name at 40,000 feet. You sat next to me aboard a 747, headed home from a spring break camping trip cut short by a hernia. I’d just spent four nights sharing a two-person tent with three boys, shaking my pen across tiny pages in a nightly, tear-soaked attempt to share my dysphoric burden with my journal.

I had no idea what I wanted to be called, I told you. Your insistence that we brainstorm together warmed me like a thousand hugs. You told me of how you had miscarried a child before me, and of all the baby names you and Dad had come up with. You’d thought of girl names, too — what about Alison?

Alison. I like that. Alison. I’m Alison.

I had never felt so loved in my life.

One day, I came home from school ready to plop myself face-down in bed and cry my eyes out to Rise Against, as was my routine. But that day was different. Following my usual lie about my day going “fine,” you pulled me aside, Dad. You hoped I was okay with it, you said, that you were beginning to do work for the Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund. You were going back to school to study discrimination law. You wanted to make a difference.

Yes, I said! Yes, that is so much more than okay!

I cried, and I hugged you, and you hugged me back, and I had never felt so loved in my life.

Your support has given me the confidence to be unapologetically myself. It’s allowed us to cultivate a bond stronger than any other. Your support of my medical transition has allowed me to realize myself physically and be the girl I want to see in the mirror. It also very likely saved my life. Bottom surgery removed a 24/7 point of discomfort which caused me intense distress every single day, and without your support, I would have to deal with that for potentially decades. You have set me up to, you know, *live my life.*


Luke and Jen

Luke and Jen


Dear Mom,

Now that I am writing this letter to you I am finding it very difficult to put into words how thankful I am of you, and the support you have given me over the years. But here I am writing a letter trying to find the words to tell you how much you really mean to me. There were many moments in my life that I felt your support but the ones that I really remember were ones where it was just a normal conversation until you said something that left me with a smile on my face, like when you had asked me what I wanted to be called. We were driving home from hockey practice, probably all sweaty and gross. Out of nowhere you, mom turned to me and asked me what I wanted to be called. Unsure what to say I said the first name that came to my mind when I was 7 which happened to be Luke. Luke was similar to my old name which was what I wanted because I wanted to keep the same initials so that I could always remind myself of how far I had come in my transition. It also happens to be the name of a powerful jedi that dad and I would watch destroy the death star quite often. From that point on any clothes or water bottles that had my old name on them you made sure were scratched off and replaced with “Luke”. The moment that you asked me what I wanted to be called I felt excited. For the first time in my life I felt that I could finally express myself and choose a name that fit my identity instead of being trapped with a name that I felt didn’t belong to me.

I remember when you weren’t sure if it was just a phase but no matter what you supported me. Even if I wanted to cut my hair or wear shorts and T-shirts you let me explore how I wanted to present myself to the world. It was the cutting of my hair and getting rid of my pink and purple clothes. It was when telling people that my name was Luke and I was a boy. It was fighting to make sure that I had access to healthcare. It was the many times that you reassured me that everything would be okay. It was these things that I remember. You guys have done so much for me. But most of all you let me be a kid. You guys didn’t care if I didn’t like to wear dresses or play with dolls, you just wanted me to be happy and that was enough. You let me play sports, have sleepovers with my friends, go to summer camp, and let me have fun. You made me feel like a normal boy and that’s all I ever wanted. You did everything in your power to make sure that I had a happy childhood and I will forever be grateful. I always make fun of dad for playing the lottery but I feel that I have won the parent lottery, if there is such a thing. You have provided me with everything and anything I have ever needed. You gave me the power to choose who I wanted to be. You let me decide who to tell my story too and when I was ready, let me tell my story.

Mom and Dad you are my biggest supporters and my role models. You have given me the confidence to reach for the stars. I would not be the person I am today without you. Thank you for being there and supporting me. I love you.

Your son Luke

Cameron and Myriam

Allie and Sean

Luke and Jen

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Sign our open letter and share your support for our cause via social media with the hashtag #HealthcareIsCaring. This open letter will be used by NCLR in their important legal and policy work, which happens at both the local and federal levels.

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Help us spread gratitude for all the supportive parents and guardians supporting transgender kids get the healthcare they deserve. Write a note to someone you want to thank and share it on social using #HealthcareIsCaring.

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Do more to protect medically necessary care for trans youth by making a donation to the Healthcare is caring campaign or starting your own JustGiving fundraiser!

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