Gov. Ron DeSantis’ Office of Planning and Budget’s new survey requested that 12 Florida public universities release information about its students that sought “gender-affirming” care in the last five years – USF’s campuses and USF Health ranked at the top of the list.
The official release of the survey did not state DeSantis’ objective in gathering this information. Factors include the number and age of students who gained access to sex reassignment, puberty blockers, hormones and surgical procedures, according to the Governor’s Office of Planning and Budget.
DeSantis is requesting that all information on students who were officially diagnosed with gender dysphoria, a feeling of discomfort when a person’s gender does not align with their physical attributes, be delivered by Feb. 10, according to the director of the Governor’s Office of Planning and Budget Chris Spencer.
“Our office has learned that several state universities provide services to persons suffering from gender dysphoria,” Spencer wrote. “On behalf of the governor, I hereby request that you respond to the enclosed inquiries related to such services.”
The memo, released on Jan. 18, also included the administration’s request for students who were underage when requesting gender-affirming care and university staff who had sought those services. Services such as “first-time” visits that led to external referrals are also to be disclosed to the administration.
USF Health, in partnership with Tampa General Physicians, offers gender-affirming hormones and mental support to students suffering from gender dysphoria. The USF Diabetes and Endocrinology center recognizes the importance of providing mental support and hormonal care, including the student’s family in the process, according to its website.
“At USF Health, children and their families are seen together – as a family – by endocrinologists, psychologists and registered dietitian nutritionists. The purpose is to ensure good mental and physical health and guide the whole family through the process of managing hormone therapy.”