Duke center focusing on child gender issues sees impact on patients after HB2

DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) — A North Carolina center that specializes in helping children and teens deal with gender issues is seeing a major impact on its patients since House Bill 2 became law.

“Since HB2 was passed, and signed into law, our patients are really struggling,” said Deanna Adkins, M.D.  She’s the director for Duke’s Center for Child and Adolescent Gender Care.  The center treats toddlers to teens that are dealing with gender issues.

“The biggest challenge for these kids often is what happens to them at school and at home,” Adkins said.  “A lot of the struggle is with acceptance from family and the community,”

Adkins told CBS North Carolina at least 40 percent of transgender youth will attempt to commit suicide at some point.  She said many more of her patients are struggling since the passing of House Bill 2.

“Their peers may not have known that they were transgender before that, so they’re outing themselves just going to the bathroom,” she said. “If they go to the bathroom that matches their gender identity, then they’re breaking the law. So, they’re stuck between a rock and a hard place if they need to go to the restroom.”

Adkins said some schools have implemented a buddy system.

“They can’t go to the bathroom alone, no matter which bathroom they choose, because there’s going to be harassment and bullying,” she added.

Adkins told CBS North Carolina’s Lauren Haviland that kind of stress can lead to trouble.

“Every day is a struggle, and every day it makes my patients more anxious,” Adkins said. “I’m really concerned that some of them are going to do self-injury.”

For more information on Duke’s Center for Child and Adolescent Gender Care, call: (919) 684-8225.

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