Decoding the Misinformation-Legislation Pipeline: an analysis of Florida Medicaid and the current state of transgender healthcare




transgender healthcare, critical librarianship, misinformation


Background: The state of evidence-based transgender healthcare in the United States has been put at risk by the spread of misinformation harmful to transgender people. Health science librarians can alleviate the spread of misinformation by identifying and analyzing its flow through systems that affect access to healthcare.

Discussion: The author developed the theory of the Misinformation - Legislation Pipeline by studying the flow of anti-transgender misinformation from online echo chambers through a peer-reviewed article and into policy enacted to ban medical treatments for transgender people in the state of Florida. The analysis is precluded with a literature review of currently accepted best practices in transgender healthcare, after which, the author analyzes the key report leveraged by Florida’s Department of Health in its ban. A critical analysis of the report is followed by a secondary analysis of the key peer-reviewed article upon which the Florida Medicaid authors relied to make the decision. The paper culminates with a summation of the trajectory of anti-transgender misinformation.

Conclusion: Misinformation plays a key role in producing legislation harmful to transgender people. Health science librarians have a role to play in identifying misinformation as it flows through the Misinformation - Legislation Pipeline and enacting key practices to identify, analyze, and oppose the spread of harmful misinformation.

Author Biography

Catherine Lockmiller, Health Science Librarian, Cline Library, Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, AZ

Catherine Lockmiller is a health science librarian at Northern Arizona University’s Phoenix Biomedical Campus. She leverages her practice by promoting health education that focuses on identifying health and healthcare disparities and social determinants that arise from power imbalances and inequities in underserved populations. She is particularly focused on achieving health equity for transgender populations.


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