August 13, 2021
The Hon. Gov. Abbott
P.O. Box 12428
Austin, TX 78711-2428
Dear Governor Abbott,
It has come to our attention that your office directed the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) to investigate gender reassignment surgery for transgender minors in order to characterize this practice as child abuse. This healthcare practice does not exist and this directive does nothing but incite fear around innocent transgender children who are already vulnerable.
The current best-practice healthcare approach for transgender children is a social transition that requires no medical intervention. For teens and adolescents, the prevailing standards of care include social transitioning and puberty blockers, which are reversible. This gender-affirming care is life- saving, informed, medically necessary, and does not look anything like what was outlined in your letter. Furthermore, every major medical association endorses this care, including the American Medical Association, the American Psychological Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Pediatric Endocrine Society, the World Professional Association of Transgender Health, and the National Association of Social Workers.
Spreading misinformation about gender-affirming care is dangerous and fuels fear, discrimination, and violence towards transgender, non-binary, and gender nonconforming children, who have already been negatively impacted by an unprecedented level of attacks on LGBTQIA+ Texans during the 87th Regular Session. This hateful and false rhetoric makes it more difficult for children and their families to access the life-saving care that they rely on and contributes to an ongoing epidemic of violence against transgender Texans, especially Black transgender women.
The response of the DFPS to your letter comes as our community is mourning the loss of yet another transgender woman who was killed in Dallas last week. We urge you, on moral and ethical grounds, to end this dangerous campaign of misinformation and attacks on LGBTQIA+ people immediately, for the safety and wellbeing of all Texans.
Please reconsider the ethical and discriminatory ramifications of this directive and the response of Commissioner Jaime Masters.
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