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Children's Hospital Colorado removes gender from patient wristbands to support gender diversity

Children's Hospital Colorado in Aurora has decided to remove gender identity from patient wristbands as a way to support gender-diverse children. (Marc Piscotty/Getty Images)

Children's Hospital Colorado announced that it will no longer identify its patients as male or female on their wristbands in an effort to support gender-diverse children.

"We've removed #gender markers from patient wristbands and more," the hospital tweeted.

The Aurora hospital's gender diversity task force came up with the idea, which it implemented Sept. 20. The hospital specializes in gender-diverse children.

"We are seeing more and more patients who have diverse gender identities," Dr. Natalie Nokoff of Children's Hospital Colorado told KUSA-TV. "I think that's true of programs all across the United States."

"So, we decided to take the gender markers off of wristbands because we felt it was the right thing to do," Nokoff continued.

What about the patient's medical records?

The hospital still documents "aspects of their identity or the body parts they have for safety reasons," Nokoff explained.

"That's still captured in the medical record but we didn't feel like there was any reason why that had to be publicly displayed on a wristband or on a sticker," she said.

What's the reaction?

One patient, a teenager who identifies as a female-to-male transgender person, told KUSA that the change is huge for him.

"Bigger than anything on this planet. It's huge," Ben said. "Looking down and seeing that 'f,' I was like, 'no, that's not right.'"

Paula Grison, Ben's mother, is an attorney who specializes in LGBTQ cases and is pleased with the hospital's decision.

"It's not just about getting the right medicine," Grison told KUSA. "It's also having care providers that treat you with the respect and dignity that you're craving and that's what this does."

Grison hopes other hospitals follow suit.

"The step forward by Children's Hospital breaks new ground and hopefully becomes the norm," she said.

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