Growing up transgender in America: parents in Texas fear investigations

Not an easy road and even harder in America
Greg Abbott making life difficult
Abbott calls gender-affirming medical treatment
A medical condition
Treatment is vital
History proves treatment is not
Supported by important medical associations
Teachers and doctors must legally report parents allow their children these treatments
Hormone therapy on hold
Safer somewhere else?
Fear of CPS
Unsafe
Safer outside of Texas?
Ten states have bans that prevents transgender youth from athletics
Bans on health care and discussion of LGBTQ+ subjects
9 families under investigation in Texas
Moving isn't easy or always possible
Laws that go against medical science
Politicians overstepping?
Not an easy road and even harder in America

Growing up trans certainly isn't easy: stress over which bathroom one can use versus which bathroom your school allows you to use, difficulties being accepted into gender-segregated sports teams, and simply finding acceptance among peers. Life for trans kids and teens in the United States is full of obstacles.

Greg Abbott making life difficult

However, Texas Governor and attorney general Greg Abbott made life even more complicated for trans minors and their families in February 2022.

Abbott calls gender-affirming medical treatment "abuse"

Gov. Greg Abbott issued a letter to Texas state health agencies earlier this year that announced that giving gender-affirming medical treatment to transgender youths "constitutes abuse" under state law.

A medical condition

Gender dysphoria, when one's gender identity is inconsistent with their sex, is treated with gender-affirming care.

Treatment is vital

It may include medication to stop puberty that doesn't match a person's gender identity and the use of gender-affirming hormones like testosterone or estradiol during adolescence.

History proves treatment is not "experimental"

Even though some politicians and lawmakers claim that this type of treatment is "experimental," history proves otherwise.

Supported by important medical associations

In addition, this type of treatment is supported by the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Medical Association, and the American Psychological Association.

Teachers and doctors must legally report parents allow their children these treatments

Abbott also said that doctors, nurses, and teachers are now legally required to report parents who aid their children in receiving gender-affirming medical treatments to the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS).

Hormone therapy on hold

Shortly after the news broke, Texas Children's hospital put a hold on providing hormone therapy to children. However, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' statement that denying trans youth health care is both discriminatory and illegal under federal law.

Safer somewhere else?

And now, many families with a trans child in Texas say they need to move to another state to continue the care that their children need.

Fear of CPS

The parents of trans children fear that they could be investigated for abuse and potentially have their child/children taken away from them.

Unsafe

The ACLU may have sued Texas to prevent the implementation of this protocol, and a judge in Texas has partially blocked enforcement. However, according to various media outlets, this has done little to make families raising a trans child in Texas feel safe.

Safer outside of Texas?

Nonetheless, families who decide to leave Texas behind in search of a safer environment to raise their trans child will need to do some research first because Texas is not alone in its anti-trans laws.

Ten states have bans that prevents transgender youth from athletics

There has been an increase in politically motivated anti-trans laws in the United States over the past decade. In fact, in 2021 alone, ten states, including Texas, have passed bans that prevent transgender youth from competing in school athletics.

Bans on health care and discussion of LGBTQ+ subjects

The trend continues in 2022, as dozens of proposals that strictly restrict trans kids' access to health care, sports teams, and even teachers discussing LGBTQ+ subjects have been proposed by lawmakers in states such as Florida, Indiana and Iowa.

9 families under investigation in Texas

According to the Texas Tribune, at least nine families in the state of Texas are currently under investigation for allowing their trans children to receive gender-affirming care. DFPS' investigations include home visits, family interviews, and sometimes even surprise visits to the children's schools.

Moving isn't easy or always possible

Many states throughout America are not safe or welcoming places to raise a trans child. Moreover, simply picking up and moving isn't an option for many Texan families due to economic restrictions or family and work obligations.

Laws that go against medical science

Laws that deny trans children and teen the access they need to what is often life-saving health care (according to Forbes, 42% of LGTBQ+ youth consider or attempt to take their lives) goes against medical science.

Politicians overstepping?

These types of laws also violate the American Medical Association's standard that states politicians must never infringe on personal care decisions which "nurture the child's short and long-term development, and balance the need to preserve the child's opportunity to make important life choices autonomously in the future."

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