Watch: Trans man who aged out of Texas foster care says politicians are vilifying LGBTQ+ kids

(Greta Díaz González Vázquez/The Texas Tribune, Greta Díaz González Vázquez/The Texas Tribune)

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After Kayden Asher told his dad that he was transgender, their relationship fell apart and the teenager entered Texas’ troubled foster care system. As Asher tumbled through several foster placements, Texas leaders intensified their efforts to regulate the lives of LGBTQ+ people. Credit: Greta Díaz González Vázquez

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After Kayden Asher came out as transgender to his family and small Gulf Coast community, their rejection sent him into a spiral of mental health episodes that landed him in the care of the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services.

During his years in foster care, Asher moved between nearly 10 different placements, including mental hospitals, residential treatment centers and foster homes.

[Texas politics leave transgender foster youth isolated — during and after life in state care]

At the same time, Texas politicians intensified efforts to regulate the lives of transgender youth and banned gender-affirming care — such as hormone therapy, which Asher received while in foster care — for trans kids.

Since leaving the state’s care, Asher has pursued a degree in paralegal studies at Austin Community College with the hope of eventually working with queer foster youth who he said are increasingly isolated by state policies. But as the political climate has increased hostilities toward transgender people, Asher fears the hostility in his home state will force him to leave Texas.

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