There has been a campaign against trans children by the Republican Party. Gender-affirming care, including puberty blockers, hormone treatments, and surgical interventions, should be classified as child abuse by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott in a letter sent last week.
According to the governor, those who practice “so-called sex change’ procedures, including doctors, educators, and members of the public, must report them to state authorities. Parents who are accused of neglect or abuse may be prosecuted by these authorities, although any such prosecution would face instant legal challenges.
Because of my adolescent daughter’s gender identity, Abbott’s remarks are terrifying and upsetting to me. There is no way we’ll ever visit Texas, the place where our child has been targeted for abuse.
It’s hard for me to comprehend how much more difficult it would be for our daughter to go through this transition in a climate of dread, paranoia, and state-enabled terror. Supportive parents like me are portrayed as child abusers by Abbott’s decree.
As a result, it creates additional barriers to accessing treatment for a procedure that is already tumultuous, tough, and time-consuming, even with parental assistance.
According to Abbott, transgender people aren’t real, which is why he issued this order. There have also been claims by anti-trans campaigners in recent years that young people and irresponsible parents are rushing to unneeded medical interventions because of “social contagion.”
For trans youth, gender-affirming care delivers substantial mental health advantages, according to a wide-ranging medical consensus. Furthermore, the theory of social contagion has been thoroughly discredited.
Before my daughter came out, my wife and I were both quite supportive of transgender people. My wife and I have discussed queer and trans issues extensively with our daughter.
When my daughter came out as transgender, we made it plain that we would be there for her. In the past, she had experimented with feminine gender expression and had a large network of transgender pals.
For her seventh-grade makeover party, she was pampered by a group of female pals. She was radiant and nearly breathless with joy when she returned home.
Despite this, our daughter waited years to tell us or anybody else that she was transgender. Her freshman year of high school was the year she first became aware that she was a female and momentarily altered her pronouns to reflect this.
For the next three years, she was unable to come out of hiding because a friend was unsupportive. At the end of her junior year, she eventually came out to us because she couldn’t take it any longer to be treated as a boy.
We made every effort to get her medical attention as promptly as possible. Despite the fact that we reside in a blue state, in a large metropolis, and had enough health insurance, “as quickly as we could” turned out to mean “not quickly at all.”
The transphobia of some mental health practitioners was open and insulting. Several others were more subtle in their approach. In the midst of Covid, getting an appointment to discuss hormone therapies was nearly impossible.
It wasn’t just a matter of health that was a problem. Despite our encouragement, our daughter was, understandably, nervous and unsure about how to proceed with the transition.
The social stigma associated with transitioning is enormous, owing to the fact that we still live in a transphobic society.
They’re well aware that being trans means they’re a target and that it’s possible that their transition will lead to them being shut out of places. My daughter is a superb performer, and she had aspired to a career on the stage or in the film industry as a male Shakespearean protagonist.
As a transgender person, those objectives may be more difficult to achieve. It also seemed like a major step towards taking actions that could permanently alter her body. It was after the first meeting that she decided to postpone her hormone therapy treatment. She didn’t start taking estrogen for the first time until a year later.
But when she did, all of her misgivings were quickly dispelled. We were reunited with our curious, ebullient, and imaginative youngster all of a sudden. Transitioning was the right decision, despite the occasional bouts of depression and anxiety. This weekend, she’ll be performing Macbeth in a beautiful Shakespearean youth performance.
My family is relieved that my daughter has received the medical attention she requires. But if Abbott and his Republican colleagues had their way, that would never have happened.
Some local DAs say they will not prosecute parents or children under the instruction, which is contested. The command, on the other hand, is intended to raise doubt. Trans children in Texas, like my daughter, may now be more hesitant to be open about their gender identity with medical providers.
This means that transgender students would have to rethink their appearance choices if the policy is implemented, for fear that overzealous school personnel might report them to their parents.
When looking for hormones in Texas, you’ll have a harder time and feel more anxious. Abbott and his minions could succeed in removing children from their loving homes and throwing them into Texas’ notoriously cruel foster care system, which is a genuine possibility.
Abbott claims, and perhaps even believes, that he is doing everything he can to stop child sex abuse. But the suicide rate among transgender adolescents is already alarmingly high. Abbott’s letter will simply compound the despair and suicide thoughts of youngsters like my daughter by denying them access to medical interventions.
Trans youngsters already face a number of difficulties. Indescribably terrible to use them as political scapegoats. Indescribable cruelty, on the other hand, appears to be the GOP’s trademark.