Policies that require students to use the bathroom or locker room associated with their biological sex rob transgender people of their personal choice of whether to reveal their trans status, the brief states. The amici tell the court that disclosing one’s status is often anxiety-inducing and fraught and note that “it is critical to a person’s sense of safety, privacy and dignity to have control over when and how the information is shared.”
And the brief notes that studies show that individuals risk harassment or abuse when they are compelled to disclose they are transgender. A 2013 survey done in Washington found that nearly 70 percent of transgender respondents had one instance of verbal harassment in gender-segregated bathrooms; 9 percent said they had at least one episode of physical assault in such a restroom.
Bathrooms a “critical” health issue
The health care profession’s understanding of gender has advanced over the past 50 years, and it now recognizes that being transgender “implies no impairment in judgment, stability, reliability or general social or vocational capabilities,” according to the brief.
The AMA in 2017 confirmed its support for transgender individuals accessing public bathrooms according to their gender identities and Association policy “opposes policies preventing transgender individuals from accessing basic human services and public facilities in line with one’s gender identity.”
Internationally, health care professionals agree that transgender and gender dysphoric patients—people who have clinically significant distress and anxiety from the incongruence between gender identity and the sex assigned at birth—need to live in accordance with their gender identity.
Treatments for gender dysphoria include counseling, hormone therapy, surgical interventions and social transition, which includes using a restroom most consistent with the individual’s gender identity. The AMA Litigation Center and others tell the court that “access to single-sex facilities that correspond to one’s gender identity is a critical aspect of social transition, and thus successful treatment for transgender and gender dysphoric individuals.”