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Assemblymember Ward Introduces the Transgender Youth Privacy Act

For immediate release:

(SACRAMENTO, CA) – Transgender youth are three times more likely to attempt suicide than their cisgender peers, according to a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Transgender youth are also more likely to experience violence victimization, substance use and depression. Assembly Bill 223, also known as the Transgender Youth Privacy Act, will require any petition for a change of gender or sex identifier filed by a minor to be sealed to protect their privacy. 

“Being ‘outed’ is a traumatic event for anyone –– but especially traumatic for someone under the age of 18 years old,” said Assemblymember Ward (D-San Diego). “The Transgender Youth Privacy Act gives transgender youth the confidence to navigate their gender identity without fear of retaliation from someone who discovers that information in the public record.”

Transgender youth who feel supported report having better physical health and mental health outcomes. However, the act of “outing” or “misgendering” someone can have severe negative consequences for adolescents. Allowing minors to decide when and how they wish to share their personal information with their peers is vital in protecting their mental health and overall well-being. 

“This bill will secure the safety and privacy of so many California youth,” said Kathie Moehlig, executive director of TransFamily Support Services. “Transgender and nonbinary youth are navigating a world of hate daily. By sealing the name and gender marker change records, we are bringing the courts in line with the laws around schools not outing students. Often families were not even aware that these records are public until years after when a court order is discovered in a Google search of the youth's name. Keeping these records public will put many students at high risk for bullying, hatred, and even violence. We applaud Assemblymember Ward for bringing this forward and fighting for the right of trans and nonbinary youth across the state."