Florida doctors’ board tightens ban on gender-affirming care
Ron DeSantis on the 2023 Session: 'You ain't seen nothing yet.'

Ron DeSantis ap photo
An exception for research was eliminated at the request of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.

prohibition against puberty blocking hormones and gender-affirming surgeries for minors in Florida was tightened further after a board overseeing doctors eliminated an exception for research Friday at the request of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ administration.

Some members of the public attending the meeting in Tallahassee shouted expletives, and law enforcement officers positioned themselves in the front of the room after the vote by the Florida Board of Osteopathic Medicine.

The decision came after one member of the public after another testified at the packed meeting of the osteopathic medicine board and the Florida Board of Medicine that gender-affirming treatment had been ”magical” and like “opening a prison door” for them or their children. One transgender adult man during his testimony gave himself an injection of hormones in front of the doctors’ boards. Others said treatment had stopped them from “fighting with themselves” and contemplating suicide.

“I’m a teenager. Without getting this medicine at this crucial age I would have been waiting for my life to start,” said L.J. Valenzuela, a trans man in high school who said he was getting hormone replacement treatment.

Judy Schmidt told board members that she worried that her trans son, who was 6 when he told her he was a boy, will have been transitioning socially for four to five years before he reaches puberty and won’t be able to get the gender-affirming care he needs.

“You as doctors are supposed to do no harm,” Schmidt to the boards made up primarily by doctors. “If you make this blanket rule, you are doing harm.”

The Florida Board of Medicine and the Florida Board of Osteopathic Medicine approved rules last fall that prohibited gender-affirming surgery and puberty blocking hormones for minors, though minors receiving puberty blockers prior to the rules taking effect could continue to take them. The osteopathic medicine board made an exception for clinical research trials that examined the long-term impact of the treatments.

During Friday’s meeting, the Florida Department of Health asked the boards to tweak the rules to eliminate the osteopathic medicine board’s exception for research. The DeSantis administration’s health department got the ball rolling on curbing gender-affirming treatment for minors in Florida last year by petitioning the boards to pass the prohibition. In 2021, DeSantis, who is widely considered to be weighing a run for the Republican presidential nomination, signed a bill barring transgender girls and women from playing on public school teams intended for student athletes assigned female at birth.

John Wilson, general counsel for the Department of Health, told the boards that the exception would create confusion since one board allowed it, but the other didn’t.

“The department is concerned the exception undermines the purpose of this rule,” Wilson said.

State Rep. Anna Eskamani, a Democrat from Orlando, called the prohibition against gender-affirming care “politically motivated.”

“We should not be making policy based on who can make a fundraising letter off it,” Eskamani said.

Florida Board of Medicine member Hector Vila disputed that interpretation of the boards’ actions.

“This isn’t about trans- or homophobia,” said Vila, a doctor in Tampa. “This isn’t about politics.”


Republished with permission of The Associated Press.

Associated Press


  • Cherry Wood

    February 10, 2023 at 8:54 pm

    I’m retired/disabled, and totally unhappy with Florida’s State Board of Health!! Why is this given more attention than a problem that’s killing people, which was recently confirmed by the CDC admitting they were wrong and the doctor/patient relationship prescribing pain meds’ etc. needs to be restored. I can share my own horror stories on this issue, but there wouldn’t be enough space!! Suicides and overdoses are on the rise due to this issue!! Our Governor needs to look at this issue closely, and help get this reversed NOW!! Florida flat out told the CDC NO!! This shows Florida’s “State Board of Health” does not care about our lives or needs. Many of us from all parties are watching this issue and it IS Political because we are basing our votes on whoever will listen and reverse these laws!!

    Thank you for reading this post!! Would someone please forward this to Governor Desantis?? I would love to chat with him and his wife personally?????

    🍒 Cherry Wood
    [email protected]

    • Ian

      February 11, 2023 at 7:31 am

      Thanks Cherry!! Absolutely agree!

    • Ian

      February 11, 2023 at 7:37 am


  • Dr. Franklin Waters

    February 10, 2023 at 9:19 pm

    Republican “Small Government”.
    Small enough to only fit into your personal life.

    • cassandra

      February 12, 2023 at 11:26 am

      Vaginas, too!

  • Cherry Wood

    February 10, 2023 at 10:02 pm

    I want to know why gender care is more important than bringing back the doctor/patient relationship and doctors abilities to prescribe our pain meds etc., when many people are dying and committing suicide because of their pain? I could share personal horror stories over this issue myself, but their wouldn’t be enough room. How is Florida’s “State Board of Health” benefitting from our suffering, suicides and overdoses. The CDC said they were wrong and we needed to change the laws back to let our doctors prescribe etc. Florida’s “State Board of Health” said NO!! SO, that tells me they don’t care about our health and have to be getting some personal benefits themselves some how. This issue should be a number one priority in Florida, and it is political because it helps all parties know who to vote for that will address this!! I’m retired Medical and now disabled myself and I’ve gone through over 2 years of “hell junior” in Florida due to the laws, and I have 5 extra bills because if it too. My wheelchair is in collections now too. Florida does NOT care about our health meds or suffering.Fire the whole State Board of Health and watch who we vote for that will change all this back!!

    • Ian

      February 11, 2023 at 7:32 am

      Thanks Cherry, 100% agree

    • Ian

      February 11, 2023 at 7:38 am


    • cassandra

      February 12, 2023 at 11:39 am

      Because the cruelty really is the point. Appears to be their sexual preference too.

  • Woody

    February 11, 2023 at 5:44 am

    What great news for this weekend!

  • Woody

    February 11, 2023 at 5:44 am

    What great news for this weekend!

  • Woody

    February 11, 2023 at 5:45 am

    What great news for this weekend!

  • Paul Passarelli

    February 11, 2023 at 11:37 am

    I kinda love the irony here. The trans crowd expects the various boards to accept the testimony(1) of trans people that HRT changed their lives. While accusing the same boards of being too conservative(2) in their outlook.

    So basically we have a group claiming a new untestable ‘revelation’ complaining that those who who claim to have had a previous equally untestable revelation are repressing them.

    Seems like a Monty Python sketch than a serious political discussion.

    Bottom line. The ‘treatment’ for children that claim to be misgendered should be psychiatric care, not surgery.

    (1) testimony — a public recounting of a religious conversion or experience.
    (2) conservative — a person who is averse to change and holds traditional values. — also — On Social Issues, Conservatives believe in interfering only when someone’s constitutional rights are at risk. This is why many Conservatives are Pro-Life(they see abortion as an attack on a human being’s constitutional right to live).

Comments are closed.


Florida Politics is a statewide, new media platform covering campaigns, elections, government, policy, and lobbying in Florida. This platform and all of its content are owned by Extensive Enterprises Media.

Publisher: Peter Schorsch @PeterSchorschFL

Contributors & reporters: Phil Ammann, Roseanne Dunkelberger, A.G. Gancarski, Anne Geggis, Kelly Hayes, Ryan Nicol, Jacob Ogles, Gray Rohrer, Jesse Scheckner, Christine Sexton, Andrew Wilson, Wes Wolfe, and Mike Wright.

Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @PeterSchorschFL
Phone: (727) 642-3162
Address: 204 37th Avenue North #182
St. Petersburg, Florida 33704

Sign up for Sunburn