The right to be transgender

Editorial Board

On Feb. 1, Governor Greg Abbott ordered state child welfare officials to begin launching child abuse investigations in regard to transgender children. As stated in a letter to the state’s Department of Family and Protective Services, Abbott explicitly defined gender-affirming treatments as “child abuse.” These treatments include any surgical processes done to alter a child’s gender, or even puberty-blocking medications. These measures are cruel and inhumane, and should be withdrawn immediately.

An article written by Rina Torchinsky of National Public Radio states that the assault on transgender rights is taking a hefty mental toll on transgender children and their parents.

“Between 2020 and 2021, the Trevor Project saw a 150% increase in crisis contacts from LGBTQ youth in Texas seeking support,” the article stated. “While the volume of contacts can’t be attributed to one factor, an analysis found that transgender and nonbinary youth ‘are feeling stressed, using self-harm, and considering suicide due to anti-LGBTQ laws being debated in their state.’”

Another article by Science Friday also touches on the stress that the bill is causing due to previous anti-trans bills that surfaced last year. 

“For months last year, transgender advocates in Texas fought a group of bills in the Legislature seeking to ban transition care by arresting parents and delicensing doctors who provide transition care to children. Several of those bills died, but the ordeal scared Hernandez, the mother of a 17-year-old transgender boy in Houston,” the article stated. “‘I had this fantasy that this year we’ll be able to at least rest a little,’ Hernandez said while fighting back tears. ‘I think we all have post traumatic stress syndrome from last year, so this brings everything back.’”

These articles, and many others on the internet, are clear proof that anti-trans bills are causing more harm than good. But, alas, the Texas government does not seem concerned about their citizens’ well-being. 

Many medical associations — including the American Academy of Pediatrics and The American Medical Association — have released statements condemning Texas for attempting to discriminate against transgender youth. Not only that, there have been a wide variety of district attorneys that also released statements saying that they would not investigate anyone when it comes to transgender rights. 

During Biden’s State of the Union speech, he rightfully expressed his support for transgender rights.

“Affirming a transgender child’s identity is one of the best things a parent, teacher or doctor can do to help keep children from harm, and parents who love and affirm their children should be applauded and supported, not threatened, investigated or stigmatized,” Biden said.

Thankfully,  on Feb. 24, a Texas judge blocked the transgender child abuse investigations from taking place, and on March 11 a court will come together and decide whether or not to block the statement all together. As we move into the next part of history, let’s leave antiquated societal norms behind.