SAN ANTONIO – In Texas, the courts will decide whether parents of transgender children undergoing the lengthy gender-affirming process should be investigated for child abuse.
In Florida, Governor Ron DeSantis is expected to sign the Parental Rights in Education bill, dubbed the “Don’t Say Gay” bill by opponents such as Equality Florida. The bill limits how sexual orientation and gender identity are taught in kindergarten through third grade.
“They’re trying to take away the ability and the opportunity for parents to parent,” said Robert Salcido Jr., executive director of Pride Center San Antonio.
Salcido said pushback against those targeting transgender children is growing as similar efforts to those in Texas and Florida are spreading across the country.
“Families are embracing together to fight against this because it is fundamentally wrong that be these lawmakers are pushing their way into people’s homes and not allowing them to parent their children,” Salcido said.
He also said not only are organizations like his and Equality Texas educating parents about their rights, “There are groups who are taking this to the courts, and we will advocate and push for better legislation that does truly embrace our LGBT+ youth.”
Dr. Uchenna Umeh, a pediatrician and life coach best known as Dr. Lulu, said, “As a mother of a transgender young adult, if you’re coming for parents, you’re coming for me.”
Dr. Lulu helped lead last week’s transgender rally at the State Capitol and expects to return this weekend for another protest.
She said those pushing the idea of being supportive of their trans child amounts to child abuse don’t truly realize what’s involved.
“Gender affirmative surgery is never done on a child, never,” she said.
Dr. Lulu said it is actually a lengthy process that can take years, beginning with social transition, involving changing their name or pronoun.
She said next comes the medical transition of giving hormones to slow down puberty.
Lulu said those are given in order “to buy time so that a child, their parents, their psychologist, their doctor, all of that entire team, can decide, ‘OK, that’s what we want.’”
Then in late puberty, ages 17-19, when they’re considered adults, Lulu said the legal transition begins. That includes changing official documents like their birth certificate, driver’s license, and passport.
“Only then after years of therapy, do we now ask the child, ‘Do you still want to progress with this?’” Lulu said.
If they agree, the final transition is the surgery, she said.
WEB EXTRA: Dr. Lulu offers this message for parents and their children seeking advice and direction