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E-EDITION

Texas fails to protect trans youth

Cal+Spencer+plays+with+their+friends+on+March.+27%2C+at+Memorial+Park.
Alberto Silva Fernandez
Cal Spencer plays with their friends on March. 27, at Memorial Park.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton are currently asking Texas citizens to report to the Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) if they believe transgender youth are receiving any sort of gender-affirming medical care.  

The governor and attorney general believe allowing the youth to have access to services, such as puberty blockers, hormone therapy, and/or any medical procedure to help them become the gender they self-identify as, should be illegal.  

They believe it is classified as child abuse, and seek to prosecute the parents who provide these options to their child. In Abbott’s order, he states there would be legal action taken against those who do not report these cases. 

There is no law that legally allows anyone to report transgender youth to DFPS, let alone any other form of government. There is neither any law that deems providing gender-transitioning medical care as child abuse.  

Both Abbott and Paxton are trying to disrupt adolescents from accessing safe gender-affirming medicine and are labeling it as protecting the trans youth. 

The El Paso County Attorney Jo Anne Bernal has decided not to enforce Abbott’s order. 

In my opinion, there’s no way you can stretch the laws as written to interpret these gender-affirming types of care as abuse or neglect,” Bernal said in an interview with El Paso Matters.  

Abbott’s decision to involve himself and the Texas legislature in the lives of trans youth is unnecessary. Already prohibiting trans youth from being involved in sports, this is yet another attack on the normalcy that is slowly dissipating in Texas for the transgender community. 

The order, which is reminiscent of the abortion law imposed Sept. 1, 2021, by Gov. Abbott,  shows the similarities of limitations Abbott has put on the state. Not giving direct power to state officials but allowing for citizens of Texas to take the law into their own hands. 

Creating a sense of fear in young trans individuals who want to identify in their respected gender is inhumane and can be traumatizing for some. With that, some may never be able to fully express their gender out of fear they will face legal consequence, or the possibility of their parents and/or teachers facing legal action. 

Texas has become a place of fear instead of a place of inclusivity. We should not punish those who choose to live a life outside of what society labels as “normal.” Adolescents should not have to fear whether or not the way they identify will be legally accepted in their state.  

 

Alberto Silva Fernandez is the Editor in-chief and may be reached at [email protected]; @albert.sf08 on Instagram; @albertosilva_f on Twitter 

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About the Contributor
Alberto Silva Fernandez
Alberto Silva Fernandez, Contributor/Photographer
Alberto Silva Fernandez is a sophomore, majoring in Multimedia Journalism at the University of Texas at El Paso. He is a photographer for The Prospector and freelances covering the borderland. When he isn’t covering events Albert likes to study politics, play video games, and listen to music.
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Texas fails to protect trans youth