Greg Abbott’s attempt to criminalize the treatment of transgender individuals demonstrates that the United States has not learned from its history of discrimination.
By Edward Segal, Valley Life Editor
Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s attempt to criminalize the treatment of children who identify as transgender is disgusting and shows how little society has progressed in terms of social equality. Judge Amy Clark Meachum must rule against the statewide directive.
Abbott gave the order to investigate parents who allow the gender-affirming treatment of their children following Attorney General Ken Paxton’s statement on Feb. 18, purporting such treatment child abuse. In his statement, Paxton demonized puberty blockers and hormone therapy, failing to realize that forcing children to go through adolescence as the gender with which they do not identify is in itself child abuse. Abbott hopes to ban prescriptions of these treatments to minors, the group that needs them most.
According to the Austin American Statesman, on Friday, Meachum blocked the directive from moving forward, preventing gender-affirming treatment from being deemed child abuse and ordering the Department of Family and Protective Services to cease any investigations into families allowing their kids to receive this treatment.
Meachum found that Abbott’s actions violated the rights of transgender adolescents and their families, doing what was in her power to prevent the governor from tearing families apart.
Transitioning after puberty is more difficult, costs more money and can be a form of torture for people who hate their postpubescent body. According to the St. Louis Children’s Hospital, transformations undergone during puberty are irreversible without hormone blockers to prevent the changes from progressing. This is why it is common for preteens to start taking them upon entering puberty. This forces transgender individuals to live in a body they don't identify with — which can lead to anxiety and even self-harm — until they can afford gender reassignment surgery, which can cost tens of thousands of dollars.
As of 2016, nearly half of all transgender people in the U.S. experienced depression and anxiety disorders, and 41 percent attempted suicide, according to Psychology Today. This trauma arises in response to the “discrimination, stigma, lack of acceptance, and abuse they face.”
Issues such as which restroom to use and what clothes to wear arise for teenagers every time they go to school or hang out in a public place, as society judges them for deviating from social gender norms. If Abbott gets what he wants, transgender individuals will be uncomfortable spending time with friends and going to school, and will ultimately lose part of their teenhood.
Many have spoken out against Abbott’s ignorance, and rightfully so. Anyone who believes gender-affirming treatment is child abuse despite the evidence that the reverse is true, has learned nothing from the mistakes of our ancestors in discriminating against people on the basis of how they identify.
Members of the LGBT community nationwide have spoken up against the Texas Governor’s actions. Valley College Genders and Sexualities Alliance Club advisor Hasmik Arakelyan believes trans youth deserve to live the life of equality promised to everyone in the country.
“It is absolutely absurd to deny trans children their basic constitutional rights,” said Valley College Genders and Sexualities Alliance Club advisor Hasmik Arakelyan. “Once again, he is completely disregarding science in favor of inhumane, antiquated, politically motivated ideologies.”
The LGBTQ+ community has suffered many years of discrimination from zealots who can not see past their prejudices. The last thing transgender people need is a state governor passing legislation to prevent doctors from helping them be their true selves.
Abbott threatens to reverse any progress made towards equality for the transgender community and should not be allowed to wreak havoc on individuals who just want to be themselves. The fate of transgender freedom in the state of Texas is in Meachum’s hands — and she must choose liberty.