Vanderbilt University announced its new “task force” to aid those in the LGBTQ community as a response to Tennessee’s new law which bans cross-sex surgeries for children under 18-years-old, according to a Monday email obtained by the Daily Caller News Foundation.
Daniel Diermeier, chancellor of the university, alerted students that the university’s new task force, led by founder and director of Vanderbilt’s LGBTQ+ Policy Lab, will work with the community to determine the “impact of the new laws” while the institution’s medical center (VUMC) directs patients seeking such procedures to services and resources, according to an email obtained by the DCNF. In February, Tennessee passed a law prohibiting healthcare providers from giving minors cross-sex treatments such as genital surgeries, puberty blockers and cross sex hormones.
“At Vanderbilt, we are now, and will always be, committed to supporting the success, health and well-being of our LGBTQI+ community,” the email stated. “We will continue to foster a supportive and inclusive environment for all members of our community. We are convening a task force that will assess the implications of the legislation and address impacts to clinical care, educational instruction, health and well-being and other areas.”
For those looking to continue gender-affirming care, the university provided resources such as their “Program for LGBTQ Health” and Student Health Insurance Plan representatives who will direct patients to services outside of the institution, the email showed. The university is also offering LGBTQ counseling services, a “processing session” for transgender and nonbinary students and faculty, and a “TGQ affinity group” for members of the transgender community.
In September 2022, the university paused its cross-sex surgeries for children after state legislators demanded the institution halt its practices. VUMC was treating minors with hormones and double-mastectomies while allegedly pressuring employees with religious objections into performing the gender-affirming procedures.
“By pushing these emails onto the student body, Vanderbilt is fostering a dangerous environment where intellectual dialogue is shunned, where those with counter opinions are attacked and where ideological groupthink is lauded,” a Vanderbilt law student told the DCNF. “This email in particular clearly illustrates that Vanderbilt supports the genital mutilation of children as well as exposing children to sexually explicit adult performances.”
Please see Vanderbilt Medical’s response to the @tnhousegop.
VUMC has agreed to pause gender transition surgeries on minors as well as honor religious objectors. https://t.co/xXlbSaAOMS pic.twitter.com/4G8laJfQfY
— Rep. Jason Zachary (@JasonZacharyTN) October 7, 2022
On March 3, Republican Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee signed a bill into law that bans drag shows for children by prohibiting “adult cabaret entertainment” in all public locations where minors may be. The new law is “raising questions” about how it will be applied to “transgender and gender-nonconforming people in their daily lives,” according to the university email.
“Currently there are more than 350 bills at various stages across the country that have, or potentially could have, significant impacts for LGBTQI+ communities and their families, allies and loved ones,” the email stated. “We are deeply concerned.”
Diermeier and VUMC did not immediately respond to the DCNF’s request for comment.
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