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The University Star




The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

Letter to the Editor: Four things to teach people about gender affirmation

letter to the editor
letter to the editor

My friend and fellow parent, Denise Rogers, is the mother of three children from Taylor, Texas, who are kind, intelligent, respectful people who love others and are well-loved in return. 
They create beautiful art. They play outside. They are vibrant. They are confident. They make the world a better place. One is gay, one is a transgender person, and one is, well honestly, I don’t know because it hasn’t come up. The love and support our local family gives them are reflected right back at us in all the ways I mentioned before. 
I can’t pretend to understand what it is like to be gay, transgender, or the family member of someone who is, but I can tell you that our world doesn’t always abide by the Golden Rule when it comes to them. You may or may not think that they deserve the same rights and respect as your own children, but I strongly recommend you open your mind and listen before you decide. 
From Denise on February 24, 2022:
…while I never want the LGBTQ community, especially transgender youth, to have to suffer another single minute, I think it is going to take this type of radical abuse, the recent directive from the Texas government, for people to wake up and finally say, “enough is enough.”
I’ve been dealing with this long enough to know that this is all just vote baiting and fear tactics and very little will actually come to fruition. Child Protective Services (CPS) is already so underfunded and overworked that it would never be able to effectively do what it is being instructed to do. CPS had to investigate over 250,000 alleged child abuses cases in 2020 and found nearly 68,500 confirmed cases of abuse, that then required further action. CPS does not have the capacity to add in the workload of this “witch hunt” when affirming care does not fall under the “duty to report” requirements under current law.
Many teacher groups, medical organizations, and even entire counties are already standing up and saying they won’t comply. However, my heart is with the new parents of transgender children who are just now learning to navigate supporting their children and are already living in a state of emotional turmoil and uncertainty.
My biggest fear is the emotional and mental health of transgender youth who have been enduring these attacks constantly. Even those who come from the most supportive and affirming families are feeling the pressure and hate, and it is wearing on them. 
My family is in a gray zone and is very lucky. While my daughter is still in high school, she is also 18. So, we aren’t in any immediate danger, but my biggest fear is the long-term emotional effects.
What I would say to those who support the new legislation is to help them understand what this “abusive” affirming care actually is.
It’s: building a team of parents, pediatricians, therapists/counselors, and often teachers, clergy, etc. to make decisions collectively that are in the best interests of the child.
It’s: socially transitioning for a few years by allowing a child to go by a different name and pronouns and allowing them to present or dress in the gender they feel most comfortable.
It’s: after a long social transition, “the team” decides that the best next step is to put the child on hormone blockers to postpone puberty or start Hormone Replacement Therapy until the child is a legal adult and can make more permanent changes to their body. Also, remind or inform them that the hormone blockers and the hormone therapy are completely safe and reversible, and the EXACT same hormones are given out to teens like candy who have bad acne or go on birth control.
It’s: reassuring them that gender reassignment surgery of any kind is not performed on any child under the age of 18 unless “the team” decides that the dysphoria is so severe that it becomes a matter of safety for the child.
Remember, they are children. 
Their parents love them the way you love your kids. 
When something makes you uncomfortable, look it in the eye and try to see it for what it truly is. You can respect humanity even when it doesn’t fall in line with your beliefs and expectations. It is easy to toe the line, but it takes a smart, brave, secure person to challenge themselves. The challenge is to LOVE ONE ANOTHER.
Submitted by Jessi Turnbow-Cao, Texas State University – Round Rock
The University Star welcomes Letters to the Editor from its readers. All submissions are reviewed and considered by the Editor-in-Chief and Opinion Editor for publication. Not all letters are guaranteed for publication.

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