As Texas cracks down on trans youth, some families feel trapped

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11/11/2022

Every morning, Mary’s eight-year-old daughter Paige walks into school in the Texan city of Austin with a legal letter in her rucksack, neatly packed with her schoolbooks and her lunch, just in case she gets stopped by state family protection officials. The letter is short and to the point: she cannot be interviewed without the family’s attorney present. Paige is among thousands of trans children in Texas whose lives have been upended since the state’s governor ordered welfare officials to launch abuse investigations into parents who support their children’s gender transition. “We feel threatened, we feel scared to just do normal things like go to a pool,” Mary told Openly, who like all the family members interviewed in this story asked to use a pseudonym for personal security reasons. Republican Governor Greg Abbott, who was re-elected in Tuesday’s midterms, issued a directive in February that said providing children with medical treatment for gender transition constitutes “child abuse” that must be reported to protection agencies.

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