Statements by HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra, Assistant Secretary for Health Admiral Rachel Levine, and Assistant Secretary for Global Affairs Loyce Pace on International Transgender Day of Visibility

Content From: U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services NewsroomPublished: March 31, 20222 min read


Cross-posted from HHS Newsroom

Trans Flag

Earlier today, HHS raised a transgender pride flag outside its headquarters building, becoming the first federal agency to do so. Photo below.

Today, hours after making history by raising the transgender pride flag outside of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) headquarters building, HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra, alongside Assistant Secretary for Health Admiral Rachel Levine and Assistant Secretary for Global Affairs Loyce Pace, released the following statements to celebrate International Transgender Day of Visibility:

"Discrimination against transgender people and their loved ones has no place in this country," said Secretary Becerra. "Here at HHS, we will continue to do everything in our power to protect the health care of transgender people, including access to gender-affirming care. On this International Transgender Day of Visibility, I say to our transgender communities: we see you, we stand with you, and we will be there for you."

"The future for our community is brighter than in past generations, but even now, progress is not real unless it means progress for all," said Admiral Levine. "Together we must strongly advocate for the most underserved and marginalized in our community, including our trans youth and their families."

"We all deserve a future free of gender identity discrimination," said Assistant Secretary Pace. "In the Office of Global Affairs, we are committed to protecting and advancing that future by standing up for transgender rights here and abroad."

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In March, Secretary Becerra announced several immediate actions HHS is taking to support LGBTQI+ youth across the nation, including: 

  • Releasing guidance to state child welfare agencies through an Information Memorandum that makes clear that states should use their child welfare systems to advance safety and support for LGBTQI+ youth, which importantly can include access to gender-affirming care;
  • Releasing guidance on patient privacy to clarify that health care providers are not required to disclose private patient information related to gender-affirming care; and
  • Issuing guidance making clear that denials of health care based on gender identity are illegal, as is restricting doctors and health care providers from providing care because of a patient's gender identity.

These actions and others are detailed on HHS' LGBTQI+ website, which was updated ahead of today's observance as part of the Department's work to ensure that transgender communities – youth, adults, families, caretakers, and providers – have the resources they need to protect the health care of transgender individuals.

If you believe that you or another party has been discriminated against on the basis of gender identity or disability in seeking to access gender-affirming care, visit HHS' Office for Civil Rights complaint portal to file a complaint online.