1. The Trevor Project National Survey on LGBTQIA+ Youth Mental Health 2021 surveyed nearly 35,000 LGBTQ youth ages 13-24 across the United States. Among the key findings of the survey:
- 42% of LGBTQ youth seriously considered attempting suicide in the past year, including more than half of transgender and nonbinary youth.
- 12% of white youth attempted suicide compared to 31% of Native/Indigenous youth, 21% of Black youth, 21% of multiracial youth, 18% of Latinx youth, and 12% of Asian/Pacific Islander youth.
How would you support our LGBTQIA+ youth and specifically BIPOC and transgender and nonbinary youth?
It’s critical Young people know that the leaders in their community be they elected or not have their backs and will stand with them against bigotry and small mindedness And attempts to marginalize them. I’d be honored to use the bully pulpit of my office and my experiences As a practicing physician to speak out.
2. On June 16, 2021, the Anne Arundel County Public School Board passed the Safe and Inclusive Environments for LGBTQIA+ Students, a comprehensive policy that prohibits discrimination and harassment based on sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression.
The policy states support for the right of any student to be addressed by a name and pronoun that correspond to the student’s gender identity. Additionally, the policy supports the right of any student to use school facilities that correspond with gender identity in which the student identifies.
Please discuss the importance of the adoption of policies in schools that respect student gender identification, including consideration of reasonable and respectful accommodation in regard to facilities.
In the year 2022 this should not even be a consideration, schools and all People in a civilized society should respect all human beings’ most most basic rights-one of which is self identification. In my experience, People of goodwill can come together in educational settings and otherwise to fashion accommodations for trans kids and non conforming students- the trouble arises when bigots pretend to Try to accommodate but rather are only interested in exploiting ignorance around these issues.
3. Some school boards around the country are facing calls from conservative groups to ban LGBTQIA+-representative books and Pride flags. What is your opinion of such requests and what role do you think parents and school boards play in determining curriculum, library content, and teachers’ ability to support LGBTQIA+ youth?
I’m firmly against such efforts.
4. How have you advocated for the LGBTQIA+ community and supported inclusion for the LGBTQIA+ community in the past? Please be specific.
As a mentor to medical students and resident physicians I focus on education about care and management of trans-gender patients especially in the critical care setting where patients are at their most vulnerable And ensuring that further emotional trauma is not caused by careless inattention to the issue.
5. It has been well documented that LGBTQIA+ people face health disparities linked to societal stigma, discrimination, and lack of access to quality health care. How have you advocated to reduce LGBTQIA+ health disparities? Explain if you have not and what you intend to do in the future to improve the health of LGBTQIA+ people in Annapolis and/or the State.
6. How do you support improving police transparency and accountability?
This is a complicated question without an easy answer but what I do know is that law enforcement can only be successful and function in an atmosphere in which communities feel that their law enforcement officers are accountable to them and that when controversies occur there is transparency. Count on me to advocate for any measures that increase both.