Politicians need to stay out of trans child’s business

On Oct. 24, Greg Abbot, governor of Texas, tweeted: “FYI the matter of 7-year-old James Younger is being looked into by the Texas Attorney General’s Office and the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services.”

Why the interest in a child custody case that had already been settled by an 11-1 jury verdict in the second-most populous state in the country? Because the child is transgender.

You remember transgender people right? That 1.4 percent of the population that is so reviled, a special session of the Texas Legislature was called in 2017 to dictate where we pee?

Our attorney general, Ken Paxton, has also inserted himself into the fray, tweeting: “Texans understand that children … should be supported and properly cared for as they grow up in our communities. I trust that the DFPS will act immediately upon our request, conduct a thorough investigation and protect this child.”

Texas House Rep. Matt Krause of Fort Worth chimed in with his own tweet: “Absent a special session between now and the 87th Session, I will introduce legislation that prohibits the use of puberty blockers in these situations for children under 18. We missed our opportunity to do so in the 86th Session. We won’t miss the next one.”

That is chilling.

By the way Matt, no one who is 18 would be able to block puberty. That ship has sailed. Read on; I will try and educate you.

I’d like to believe that the motivations of our elected representatives are born of genuine concern for a child. But that is clearly NOT the case. It appears to be the first salvo in their 2020 re-election bids, and nothing fires up Republican Primary voters like transgender people.

None of those white men weighing in on the issue are transgender. None of them are doctors. None of them are qualified therapists.

As a transgender woman, I have some thoughts on the matter. (Surprise!)

First and foremost, none of those politicians should be interfering in matters settled by a family court. A jury ruled 11-1 to give sole custody to the affirming mother, and then Judge Kim Cooks over-ruled the jury and awarded a joint managing conservatorship to both parents

I weep for Luna. (I will refer to this child by the name and pronouns she has chosen, by the way.)

Three mental health professionals have evaluated her and diagnosed her with gender dysphoria. Being transgender is hard. It’s harder still when your family is fighting over you and what they consider your best interest.

It’s a million times worse when politicians who don’t know you or care about you use you as a tool to get re-elected.

Once again, fear is being used as a tool to gin up phony outrage. Words like “chemical castration” or “mutilation” are being thrown around. As someone who knows a little about the subject, let me share some truth:
“Transition” for a 7-year-old is social, not medical. It might involve hairstyles, clothing choices and selecting new a new name and pronouns. It might also include counseling.

That’s it. Period. Read it again.

Do you see anything there that is irreversible or would rise to the definition of mutilation or chemical castration? I don’t.

Between now and the onset of puberty, Luna’s parents have time to discuss and observe her. Luna should be able to guide them on her feelings — not Greg Abbott, not Ken Paxton, certainly not Ted Cruz and especially not Matt Krause.

Doctors and therapists can help, but ultimately Luna should decide.

If puberty blockers are introduced, they are generally introduced at Tanner Stage 2 (There are five Tanner stages to puberty). Boys typically begin Tanner stage 2 around age 11, and for girls it’s between ages 9 and 11. So, there is time. Lots of it.

Puberty blockers essentially hit the “pause button” on puberty, giving the transgender child and their parents yet more time to make sure a medical transition is right for them. If the puberty blockers are removed, the child would have a puberty in alignment with their sex assigned at birth.

Completely revocable. Non-permanent. No mutilation. No chemical castration.

If the trans youth and their parents agree, at age 16 or so, THEN cross-sex hormones can be introduced. This will provide a puberty that matches their lived gender and prevent a whole host of undesired effects of a biological puberty.

I hated puberty. I wish with all of my heart I would have had access to affirming parents and puberty blockers. But I was born before such things.

The effects of my puberty are permanent, and I live with them every day. I am female through and through. But my voice is deep; my hands are big; my hips are narrow; I’m nearly 6 feet tall, and my feet are too big to find shoes in most women’s shoe stores.

Luna can be saved from this fate — if that’s what she wants. And if her parents can put aside what “they” want and do what’s best for their child.

Please, keep her health and well-being first and foremost.

The rest of y’all — Stay out of it!

Leslie McMurray, a transgender woman, is a former radio DJ who lives and works in Dallas. Read more of her blogs at lesliemichelle44.wordpress.com.