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Ahead of “Bathroom Bill” hearing, Legacy Community Health Puts Mental Health Concerns Front and Center

HOUSTON – Legacy Community Health, one of Texas’ largest community health systems, released a web video featuring three of its physicians discussing the higher risk of suicide among transgender people. The spot, titled “An Uncomfortable Subject,” comes on the eve of tomorrow’s public hearing on “bathroom bills” in the Texas Senate.

“We think lawmakers should at least be made aware of the mental health toll any bathroom bill could have on thousands of young Texans,” said Dr. Chad Lemaire, medical director for behavioral health at Legacy. “While suicide is a sensitive and uncomfortable topic, we feel it’s important to have the conversation. And it’s incumbent on us to try to prevent tragic outcomes when it comes to the mental and physical health of our patients.”

Also included in the video is a father, Aaron Richie, of a transgender child. As a member of PFLAG, Richie has attended a number of support group meetings where transgender youth and their parents openly discuss the issue of suicide.

A transcript of “An Uncomfortable Subject” follows.

Dr. Pedro Bustamante:          To all the lawmakers who support Texas’ bathroom bill…

Dr. Jennifer Feldmann:          We are doctors

Dr. Chad Lemaire:                  Mental health providers

Aaron Richie:                          And parents of transgender kids.

Dr. Bustamante:                     40% of transgender people attempt to take their own life.

Richie:                                     I can tell you, the crisis is real. Way too many kids think they can’t go on.

Dr. Feldmann:                         More people could die if this bill becomes law.

Dr. Lemaire:                            That’s the unintended consequence…

Richie:                                     Of discrimination.

Dr. Bustamante:                     Don’t say we didn’t warn you.


Legacy Community Health, a not-for-profit Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC), provides comprehensive care to over 150,000 community members, regardless of their ability to pay, at 29 clinics in Southeast Texas. The agency provides adult primary care, HIV/AIDS care, pediatrics, OB/GYN and maternity, dental, vision and behavioral health.