A lawsuit, supported by LGBTQ+ rights groups and the child’s parents, has been filed against North Carolina’s ban on gender-affirming care for transgender youth.

The child, identified as Victor Voe in the lawsuit, asserts that the ban is unconstitutional and poses a significant threat to the health and well-being of transgender adolescents.

The ban, which Republican lawmakers led, prohibits minors in North Carolina from accessing vital gender-affirming medical care, including puberty blockers, hormone therapies, and surgical gender-affirming procedures. Furthermore, it penalises doctors who provide these necessary treatments to minors.


This ban was passed earlier this year and took effect in August, despite Democratic Governor Roy Cooper’s vetoes. Governor Cooper had vetoed this bill along with two other anti-trans bills, one of which aimed to restrict trans students in sports and the other to ban gender identity and sexual orientation from being part of the state’s school curriculum. All three vetoes were overridden, allowing these bills to become law.

Victor Voe’s lawsuit argues that the gender-affirming care ban infringes upon the parents’ right to make medical decisions for their children, violating the Fourteenth Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause.

The lawsuit highlights how the ban directly affects nine-year-old Victor and other minors like him. It states, “Victor is transgender. He knew from a very young age that his gender identity did not match his sex assigned at birth, and he generally lives as the boy he is in every aspect of life.

However, with his puberty approaching, Victor will soon need medical care that the Health Care Ban prohibits.”

The legal action contends that the ban was enacted despite strong opposition from medical experts and will hinder doctors’ ability to provide evidence-based care. Restricting access to gender-affirming therapies is predicted to have severe consequences for trans minors in the state, including increasing anxiety, depression, and the risk of suicidality.

Victor Voe is joined in the lawsuit by Dr Riley Smith, a provider of gender-affirming care, and LGBTQ+ advocacy groups PFLAG and GLMA. CEO of PLAG, Brian Bond, raised concerns about the ban, noting the contradictory stance of legislators who claim “parents’ rights” in certain situations while asserting that parents cannot be trusted to make decisions about their own children’s health and well-being in other cases. This legal battle spotlights the ongoing struggle for LGBTQ+ rights and medical care access for transgender youth in North Carolina.