*The following article contains discussion of suicide/self-harm.
Jeff Younger, a Republican running in Texas House District 63 who made headlines after he lost custody of his trans child for not supporting their transition, was heckled by students at the Denton school, where he had been invited to speak by the University of Texas's Young Conservatives of Texas chapter.
Younger appeared visibly flustered while drowned out by chants of "F**k these fascists" and "trans rights." He was forced to cut his speaking engagement short after 40 minutes.
You can see what happened in the video below.
Younger's contentious appearance at the university comes as the administration of Texas Governor Greg Abbott, a Republican, faces heightened criticism for empowering the state to open child abuse investigations into families whose children receive gender affirming procedures.
Younger would be a boon to Republicans who have backed Abbott's order should he be elected because he publicly opposed his own daughter's transition, kicking off a contentious and high-profile custody battle.
Anne Georgulas, Younger’s ex-wife and the mother of their fraternal twins, is a pediatrician who has supported their trans child in her transition.
She initially received sole custody of the children but the judge in that case ignored the jury's verdict before another judge in a separate case two years later awarded her most paternal rights while allowing Younger supervised visits and decreeing that Georgulas could not allow the trans child to undergo “hormonal suppression therapy, puberty blocks, and/or transgender reassignment surgery” without Younger’s consent.
Younger has insisted that his child is not transgender and was misdiagnosed by a doctor who wanted to put her on puberty blockers.
Studies show transgender teens are more likely to be subjected to violence in high school and have higher rates of suicide. A recent study showed that transgender adults with access to puberty blockers as teens were less likely to have suicidal thoughts.
The study, published in Pediatrics, concluded that "those who received treatment with pubertal suppression, when compared with those who wanted pubertal suppression but did not receive it, had lower odds of lifetime suicidal ideation.
Many have condemned Younger amid the controversy and praised students for taking a stand.
Last week, Governor Abbott issued an order requiring state agencies to open child-abuse investigations into families whose children receive gender-affirming procedures after Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, also a Republican, said in a statement that some types of gender-affirming health care for transgender youth is “abuse.”
Paxton said that hormone therapy, puberty blockers and sex reassignment procedures “are ‘abuse’ under Texas law, and thus must be halted" while declaring that “there is no scientific consensus that these sterilizing procedures and treatments" actually benefit "minor children dealing with gender dysphoria.”
Later, Abbott released a statement backing Paxton, saying that Texas law "provides criminal penalties for failure to report such child abuse" and imposes reporting requirements upon any licensed professionals who may have direct contact with children.
This week, afamily already being investigated under the new policy filed suit against the state government with the assistance of Lambda Legal and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). A Travis County judge has already ordered that state authorities halt their investigation and will hold a hearing in the coming week to consider blocking the policy altogether.
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