Legal Battle Over Whether Estranged Texas Couple's 7-Year-Old Is Transgender Prompts Child Services Review
Conservative activists are mobilizing to "save" a 7 year old Texas child whose gender identity is the subject of a heated legal battle between their parents—Dr. Anne Georgulas and Jeffrey Younger.
Georgulas' and Younger's marriage was annulled in 2016 and a jury gave Georgulas sole managing conservatorship over her child Luna Younger (whom Jeffrey Younger refers to as "James"), giving Georgulas sole authority over medical and psychological decisions regarding the child.
But Judge Kim Cooks of Texas recently reinstated joint conservatorship over the child after their father, Jeffrey Younger, claimed Georgulas was brainwashing Luna into believing they're a girl. Younger says that Luna refers to themself as a boy and chooses to wear traditionally male clothes when they aren't with Georgulas.
According to testimony from a Child Protective Services agent, Luna asserts they're a girl even when no parent is present and has denied that anyone is pressuring them into presenting as a girl.
Though the extent of Luna's transition is, like most prepubescent transgender children, only in presentation and affirmation, conservative activists are falsely claiming that Georgulas is forcing a medical, physical transition upon the child.
Luna has taken no hormones and had absolutely no surgical procedures, nor has Georgulas called for these.
It's a common scare tactic used by conservatives who claim that parents of transgender children are seeking to surgically or otherwise medically confirm the child's gender identity, when in reality, prepubescent children struggling with gender identity typically speak to psychologists and occasionally embark on a social transition that's completely reversible.
The only medical intervention Luna has had is correspondence with a psychologist who reportedly diagnosed them with gender dysphoria—a state of depression and anxiety that occurs when a transgender person is not permitted to present as their gender.
Nevertheless, conservatives are drumming up fear that Georgulas is hellbent on giving a 7-year-old the same surgical and hormonal confirmation procedures taken by adults, rather than simply following the child's lead on how to refer to them.
In reality, this is a lot less sensational than conservatives are trying to make it.
There's a possibility that between the age of 10 and 13, Luna will take puberty blockers, which stall the growth of body hair and other adolescent body changes. They're completely reversible and puberty continues as normal once the subject stops taking the medication.
When people oversimplify the process of transitioning—thinking of it as a uniform surgery rather than a complex and varying series of decisions that affect every aspect of a person's life—they stifle the chance for trans people to come into their true identities.
The book Raising the Transgender Child: A Complete Guide for Parents, Families, and Caregivers is available here.