Skip to main content

State News: Top Texas Republicans order investigation into mother who supports child’s gender transition

Gov. Greg Abbott, a Republican, indicated that state officials, including the state's welfare agency, were looking into the Dallas child custody case in which a child's gender identity is in dispute. (Marjorie Kamys Cotera for The Texas Tribune)

Texas Tribune 

Top Texas Republicans have directed the state’s child welfare agency to investigate whether a mother who supports her 7-year-old child’s gender transition is committing “child abuse” — a move that has alarmed an already fearful community of parents of transgender children.

Gov. Greg Abbott declared via tweet Wednesday that two state agencies, the Department of Family and Protective Services and the Texas Attorney General’s Office, are looking into a dispute between divorced North Texas parents who disagree on whether their child should continue the process of transitioning from male to female, a path that could culminate, when the child is years older, in medical interventions.

In a letter Thursday to the state’s child welfare agency, First Assistant Attorney General Jeff Mateer declared that the child — who identifies as a girl, according to testimony from a counselor and pediatrician — is “in immediate and irrevocable danger.”

“We ask that you open an investigation into this matter as soon as possible and act pursuant to your emergency powers to protect the boy in question [from] permanent and potentially irreversible harm by his mother,” Mateer wrote, repeatedly referring to the 7-year-old as a boy. Mateer’s nomination to the federal bench was withdrawn in 2017 after revelations that he had called transgender children part of “Satan’s plan.”

A spokesman for DFPS said the agency’s “review of the allegations is already underway.”

The case’s path to public discourse began with the child’s father, Jeff Younger, whose blog has generated a maelstrom of right-wing outrage, including from U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, who called the child “a pawn in a left-wing political agenda.” Younger, who also appeared at a rally at the Capitol this spring, does not agree with his ex-wife that his child is transgender. In blog posts, he has claimed his child could face “chemical castration.”

In reality, experts say, the transition process for prepubescent children does not involve medical intervention; instead, it consists of social affirmations like allowing children to wear the clothes they like, employ the names and pronouns they prefer, and paint their nails if they choose. During puberty, a transgender child might, with the consultation of a doctor, begin to take puberty blockers, reversible drugs that can stop puberty and the gender markers that come with it, like a deepening voice, the development of breasts or starting a period. Later on, experts say, transgender young adults might explore the option of surgery.

In a court ruling Thursday that granted the parents joint custody, Dallas Judge Kim Cooks noted that there was never a court order for the child to undergo medical treatment, according to The Dallas Morning News. Indeed, the mother, Anne Georgulas, had requested that Cooks require mutual consent before the child underwent any treatment, the Morning News reported.

LGBTQ advocates say that Republican officials are exploiting misinformation and targeting an already vulnerable community to score political points. One mother in the Dallas area who declined to be named, fearing for the safety of her transgender son, said she had called her local police department to request additional patrols in her area.

Georgulas has suffered “threats, harassment and even vandalism,” according to a statement from her attorneys. Georgulas, a pediatrician, fought unsuccessfully to have the court record sealed. Both Abbott and Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton have identified the child by name in public statements.

“We’ve already seen what happens when the state politicizes transgender children: Real harm can be done,” said Angela Hale, acting CEO of Equality Texas, an LGBTQ advocacy group. “Politicians have no business delving into people’s private lives and attempting to harm children.”

Several Texas Republicans are proposing legislation related to the family’s dispute. 

State Rep. Steve Toth, R-The Woodlands, declared that “the 1st bill I file in the 87th [legislative session] will add ‘Transitioning of a Minor’ as Child Abuse.” State Rep. Matt Krause, R-Fort Worth, pledged to introduce a bill prohibiting the use of puberty blockers for children and lamented that “we missed our opportunity to do so in the 86th session.”

Robbie Sharp, a Houston developmental psychologist and gender therapist, said puberty blockers are critical for children who don’t identify with the puberty traits their bodies are taking on. Going through puberty without blockers can put children at risk for suicide or cause them to act out, Sharp said.

Blockers also buy children and their parents time before making any decisions that are irreversible, said Laura Edwards-Leeper, a clinical psychologist at Pacific University in Oregon.

For members of the LGBTQ community, state leaders’ move this week was reminiscent of the lead-up to the 2017 legislative fight over a “bathroom bill” that would have barred transgender individuals from using public facilities that aligned with their gender identities. That year, conservative lawmakers fought for months to pass a bill they insisted, without evidence, was necessary to protect women — and LGBTQ advocates argued would harm their communities.

Proponents termed the measure the “privacy act” — an ironic moniker, LGBTQ advocates said, given the intrusions into the transgender community’s privacy lawmakers have proposed.

But fights over LGBTQ rights and protections seemed less prominent during the 2019 legislative session, after a punishing 2018 election cycle seemed to push Texas Republicans toward pocketbook issues and away from culture wars. Numerous religious refusal bills, which advocates feared would “license discrimination” against their communities, failed to pass.

“The politicization of this case is hypocrisy,” Hale said. “Those who cried about privacy during the bathroom bill have turned around and violated this child’s privacy by revealing the child’s identity.”


Popular posts from this blog

Drug Dealers Say That Their Business Is "Essential" And That Business Is Booming

Matt Pierce-Briscoe

Corpus Christi--Texas is facing a lot of problems these days and it seems to only be getting worse. Nearly three-quarter of a million Texans are unemployed or furloughed and they are facing being cooped up at home with nowhere to go.

What else do you do? Turn to your old standbys: Drugs and Booze.

The longer it goes the worse it seems to get. Drug dealers in Corpus Christi say that their business is booming and it all stems back to boredom, depression and more boredom.

At least some liquor stores in the area are reporting increased sales and traffic these days as people turn to alcohol to help ease the stress of working at home and pass the time at home because there is nothing to do.

But the bigger problem is drugs.

Three recreational drug dealers in Corpus Christi that spoke with us on the condition of anonymity uniformly report spikes in sales since Nueces County first announced its stay-at-home order in response to the coronavirus pandemic on March 25. Local d…

Some Long Term Care Facilities Are Growing Concerned About "Blacked Out" COVID-19 Test Results Coming From Area Hospitals

Matt Pierce-Briscoe
Email The Author

Corpus Christi, TEXAS — An outbreak of COVID-19 at a senior living facility in San Antonio that has infected at least 12 residents is raising questions about the actions of a local hospital here in Corpus Christi.

A physician working at a large senior assisted living and rehabilitation facility in Corpus Christi says that they have received a few patients who have likely been tested and/or treated for the deadly COVID-19 virus. But there is one problem—Christus Spohn Shoreline is not revealing the results of the test to the facility.

“When we get to the part where we would be able to see the COVID-19 result on the chart it is blacked out,” the physician said. The doctor spoke with us on conditions anominity because the facility where he sees patients will not allow him to speak to the media. “There is no doubt that we need to know this information to protect not only our other patients but our staff, as well.”

The physician says that he sees no con…

Healthcare: Are Corpus Christi Residents At Risk Of Dying Due To A Lack Of Resources And Skilled Professionals?

Brady Chandler  The Southside Light
When newspaper editor Matt Briscoe had a headache that just wouldn’t end he didn’t think much of it. But hours later on a Sunday evening in early July, he quickly realized that something was wrong when he felt a numbness in his left arm and was missing all control on his left side. It was then when realized that it was time to do something and headed with his wife to the nearest hospital less than half a mile away. What happened to Briscoe next was a sort of nightmare and luckily, he lived to tell the story. 
Briscoe stumbled into the nearly empty emergency room just after 10:00 pm. “I was actually thankful that the ER was relatively empty,” Briscoe says. “But, I was so concerned that I was not really taking notes at the time.” 
After checking in Briscoe waited about 10 minutes before being seen in triage where they worked him up for a quick preliminary diagnosis. Moments later, Briscoe was whisked into a nearby room where a …