TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — A Florida lawmaker wants to ban giving drugs to or performing surgery on minors for “gender assignment.”
Florida Rep. Randy Fine, R-Brevard County, tweeted on Monday that he will introduce legislation in the next session to make it a crime of felony child abuse to provide those services to minors, punishable by prison time and loss of medical license.
“We should not have children making decisions that they cannot undo,” said Fine. “Now, my bill would not say that if you’re a boy and you think you’re a girl that you can’t have people call you a girl, or dress like a girl, or go to mental counseling to talk about it. It simply says you have to wait until you’re an adult.”
Fine specifically singled out a plastic surgery doctor in Miami whom he said advertises her “gender confirmation” services on TikTok.
“I don’t think if you’re trying to market your services to an adult…” Fine said before shifting gears. “I don’t know about you, I don’t use TikTok. But my 14-year-old does.”
Andrew Lent, a transgender health advocate for Equality Florida, said Rep these procedures aren’t “assigning” a gender.
“That’s not even what it is,” Lent said. “It’s gender affirmation. Because people already know what gender they identify with.”
Lent said these decisions should be left up to a doctor, the patient, and their family. He also pointed out that many transgender youth don’t use hormones or surgery during their transition.
“Not everyone’s journey or transition process is the same,” Lent said. “Everyone’s care looks different, that’s true of non-transgender people. Why all of a sudden are we not trusting doctors?”
Sam Sharf is a student at Hillsborough Community College majoring in psychology and gender studies. At 18, she began transitioning. Now, 21, Sam says she is much happier and finally feels like herself.
“I’m very happy. I’m accomplishing things that I never would have thought possible in my past. I wouldn’t be alive today if I wasn’t allowed to transition,” Sharf said.
When Sam first heard about the proposal from state Rep Randy Fine she was shocked and disappointed and has a message for the state leader from Brevard county.
“I would tell him to speak to a trans person for once. I feel like, I feel like that’s all he has to do. I feel that’s all he has to do to see how incorrect he is,” Sharf said.
Fine said he will introduce the bill in the next legislative session, which is scheduled to start in March 2023. A special session for redistricting is scheduled later this month for April 19-22.