With a “feeling of betrayal,” one family flees Texas in search of safer climate for their transgender daughter

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08/22/2022

Ess Welsh spent her entire life in Texas. It’s where she fell in love with marching band, where she found a community of fellow Dungeons and Dragons players, and where she faced the looming threat of her family being investigated for child abuse. In February, Gov. Greg Abbott told the Texas Department of Family Protective and Services to investigate families providing their transgender children with gender-affirming care. The directive is still in legal limbo. For the Welsh family, leaving Texas means facing huge financial risks, severing community ties, and breaking bonds with trusted therapists and care providers. However, staying carries the threat of investigations, family separation and a loss of the crucial gender-affirming medical care that leading medical organizations have deemed medically necessary.

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