Texas is pursuing the most anti-transgender bills in the country, which might pose deadly consequences if not reexamined keenly. With the Gender Affirming Bill, gender-affirming treatment for transgender children would be regarded as child abuse, and parents may be jailed for aiding the medication process. Even if the bills are not implemented, the language around them characterizing transgender girls as boys is likely to spur violent attacks and degenerate the mental health and wellbeing of this already vulnerable group. The bills pose a chilling effect on the parents of transgender children and the physicians and traumatize the transgender children by generating doubts and uncertainties concerning their identities, safety, and care. As such, the Texas legislatures should stop the bills and the narratives around them by all means.
The idea that transgender children and their parent’s risk legal consequences and potential charges for child abuse just because they support their transgender family members sends a devastating message to transgender families that the very existence of their kins is invalid. Such directives are barbaric and violate evidence-based gender-affirming treatment guidance long established in several national media institutions. The law, in this case, is being abusive but blaming the abuse on the parents. The bill seeks to levy punishment on parents supporting their transgender children’s longing to transition, ranging from jail terms to having their transgender children taken away. Jailing or denying the parents the ability to do what they feel is best for the interest of their children is not only abusive but a cruel act. Children discover who they are as early as age five, and being that they spend more time with parents than anyone else at that early stage, a parent may identify the most dominant and desired sex by the child than no other person can do. Hence, they should be allowed to assign their transgender children the most desired sex.
Besides instilling fear in parents caring for their transgender children, the bills also impose legal punishment for physicians and health care providers providing gender-affirming care to children below 18 years. The state legislatures are considering laws targeting providers and allowing emergency medical staff to refuse to treat transgender patients. The threat of legal consequences will make physicians fear administering children gender-affirming care and other treatments to this group. This is too much on this population already experiencing discrimination and stigma.
The Texas Gender Bill is also traumatizing to transgender children. With transgender youth experiencing discrimination, stigma, and a high rate of depression, homelessness, and self-harm, bills, and discussions like this may escalate this harm. Forcing transgender girls to consider themselves boys in sports, threatening legal consequences for their family members for taking care of them, and directing health care providers to stay away from them is too much. Every individual needs to be treated with dignity and respect and should live without fears regardless of their physical appearance, sexual orientation, and whom they love. Children should learn and live without fearing being potentially denied medical care, school sport, or restrooms because of their sexual orientation. Every citizen should have access to health care services without worrying about being sexually discriminated against. Transgender youths and their families have passed through too much humiliation, and a directive by the state to lock them from essential services such as medical care and social activities such as participating in sports is too traumatizing.