Local psychotherapist and parents discuss their opposition to partial ban on trans health care

A Local psychotherapist and parents respond to SB 140. From left to Right: (Parent) Sarah Price, Psychotherapist & Gender Specialist Katie Leikam, (Parent) Jonathan Smith, (Parent) Linda Grabbe. (Tiffany Griffith/WABE)

Katie Leikam, a Decatur-based psychotherapist and gender specialist, says children, who don’t receive gender-affirming care, are more likely to self-harm and experience suicidal ideation.

Leikam was one of a few guests on Wednesday’s edition of “Closer Look,” who discussed SB140 advancing in the Georgia legislature on Tuesday.

The proposed legislation, backed by Sen. Carden Summers and several other lawmakers, passed during a Georgia House Public Health Committee hearing in a 12-10 vote. If the bill becomes law, the measure will block trans youth from receiving hormone replacement therapy and prohibit medical professionals from performing certain surgical procedures at hospitals and other licensed healthcare facilities.

Those against SB 140 say it’s restrictive and will be detrimental to children. Those who are for the measure say the bill protects the rights of children and prevents them from doing something irreversible to their bodies.

During Wednesday’s show, Rose Scott first talks with WABE politics reporter Sam Gringlas about the bill advancing through the legislature and the likelihood of it becoming law.

Leikam then shares how she treats gender dysphoria, a clinical condition where a person’s gender identity differs from their gender assigned at birth.

Lastly, Rose talks with three local parents, Linda Grabbe, Jonathan Smith and Sarah Price. The group of parents spoke candidly about raising transgender/genderfluid children and the importance of loving and supporting them.