Susan’s heart sank when she learned that authorities in Texas plan to investigate parents who provide gender-affirming care to their transgender children as possible cases of child abuse. Elsa, Susan’s transgender daughter, is 7 years old and her parents have requested that she be given a pseudonym for her own protection. Elsa is mature beyond her years, according to her parents. She had insisted on clothes, a new name, and been called “daughter” by her parents from an early age, guiding them through her gender transition.
According to Susan, in an interview with ABC News, their daughter “told her mom, ‘I’m a girl,’ when she was three years old. The question “Can I be your daughter?” on National Girls’ Day brought me to tears. Due to threats from the child abuse investigation, Susan and her husband Brian (who both wanted their surnames not used) chose to uproot their family and leave Texas. They say they were concerned about Elsa’s future health care options and how far the government would go to separate families like theirs.
They have the support of people outside his family. Organizations fighting for the rights of the LGBTQ community report that some families are leaving states that have passed anti-LGBTQ laws in search of safer environments elsewhere in the country. “But mom, I can handle anything as long as we’re together,” Elsa told Susan, explaining why she didn’t want to leave. I’m in the same boat,” Susan reassured her. When we’re together, I feel like we can take on the world. But we have to leave because they could end up separating us forever. Parent Jamie (also an alias) moved her family from Texas to Colorado in order to ensure the safety of her transgender teenager.
Families said they spent most of their savings on the move, calling it an expensive but necessary choice. For Jamie, the stress “didn’t feel like normal teenage stress, in Texas,” as she told ABC News. “Knowing that your governor and your state’s top leaders don’t want you to exist is a new kind of stress. The atmosphere was extremely deadly. There are limits on public performances in Texas that drag performers say could be used to target them, and the state has officially banned gender-affirming care for transgender people under the age of 18.
Governor Greg Abbott told Fox News he was signing the law because it was about “protecting children,” a sentiment echoed by Texas lawmakers. Republican Senator Bob Hall, who supports the legislation, noted, “We protect children from a lot of things. We have a non-smoking policy. We don’t give them alcohol. The sale of lottery tickets is prohibited. Thus, we act appropriately. However, advocates for gender-affirming care, such as Jamie and Susan, as well as experts from several major national medical societies, say they are safe and successful. For some, like the American Medical Association, it may be considered “medically necessary.”
Gender-affirming care has been shown to improve the emotional and physical health and well-being of transgender and non-binary children and adolescents, according to a number of studies, including one published in JAMA Surgery. ABC News has reached out to Abbott’s office for comment on the exodus, but has yet to receive a response. New legislation in Florida prohibits providing gender-affirming care to transgender minors who are in the early stages of their transition. The law also requires adults who identify as transgender to seek medical care in person rather than through online medical services or from a non-medical practitioner, and sign an informed consent statement. Care that affirms a person’s gender identity is not covered by publicly funded health and social care programs like Medicaid or economic assistance initiatives.
Gov. Ron DeSantis, who is now running for president, claimed the bill’s purpose was to ‘let kids be kids’, arguing that parents are forcing their children to undergo gender affirmation therapy. against their will. Never before in the history of mankind, until maybe two weeks ago, had we done something like this. Wow, isn’t that cool? Third graders are asked to make statements of pronouns? “Florida will not host the Pronoun Olympics,” DeSantis said. However, researchers say transgender people have always been a part of human history. Still, some transgender adults in the state say their doctors have stopped seeing them due to new regulations and standards. Two transgender Floridians, Sage Chelf and Nova Banks, who claim their suppliers abandoned them in times of need, are trying to raise money to escape the state.