Thursday, October 24, 2019

Conservatives, religious right go to the outer limits of audacity in exploiting case of transgender child

Leave it to the religious right and conservatives to twist this picture into an instrument of transphobia.
There is a custody case in Texas involving a seven-year-old transgender child in which conservatives  and the anti-LGBTQ industry are freely exploiting and lying about.

First check out these headlines. I refuse to link to them:

When a Court Forces Your Boy to Become a Girl

 Court Orders Father To Let Mom Put Their Son Through Gender Reassignment

Thousands Demand Texas Leaders Prevent Gender ‘Transition’ Of 7-Yr-Old Boy

WALSH: Court Rules That A Mom Can ‘Transition’ Son Into Girl Against His Dad’s Wishes. This Is Evil, Insane Child Abuse.  

Texas Jury: Father Cannot Stop Chemical Castration, Gender Change Of Seven-Year-Old Son

Here is the real story:

It involved a custody battle between Jeffrey Younger and Anne Georgulas over their children, one who is seven-years-old and has been diagnosed with gender dysphoria.  The father created a blog about the situation and ran to various conservative media groups and personalities claiming that the mother is forcing the child to transition. As you can see by the headlines above, various members of the conservative media, including the Family Research Council and The National Review, have run with the story, making sure to add (via by outright lying or sly inference) their own details.

The chief detail is accentuated by the last headline -Texas Jury: Father Cannot Stop Chemical Castration, Gender Change Of Seven-Year-Old Son. The lie that the little girl will be "castrated" or "mutilated" is the image various conservatives and religious right groups are pushing.

And of course,  it is wrong. According to

Since the start of the trial last week, a number of conservative media outlets have cried foul about the situation, claiming that Georgulas, a pediatrician with a private practice in a Dallas suburb, was going to have Luna “mutilated” or “chemically castrated.” The case even made its way to at least three Texas Republicans, including Sen. Ted Cruz, who called the child “a pawn in a left-wing political agenda.”

. . .But as Younger turned the parents’ fight into one over irreversible medical procedures, experts on health care for transgender children told The Washington Post that Georgulas’s approach to the child would not involve any kind of surgery or hormones for years. “Many people wrongly assume that prepubescent transgender or gender-diverse children will receive medical interventions,” Katherine Kuvalanka, a social work professor at Miami University in Ohio, said in an email to The Washington Post. “The only interventions for young children is affirmation and acceptance for who they are.”

However, because of the inferences and distortions, Georgulas has been receiving many threats. In addition, TX Governor Greg Abbott, the state's attorney general Ken Paxton,  TX Congressman Chip Roy, and TX Sen Ted Cruz  have either demanded investigations or have made charged comments about  "chemical castrations."

This is case  underscores how this country is lacking when it comes to caring for our transgender Americans. Issues involving the transgender issues are very complex. And especially when transgender children are the center. Yet there is so much misinformation out there and it is the fault of our media.

I've always been disturbed about the deliberate inability of some in our  media to have a discussion about the trans community which features trans people and medical experts.  Instead, we are forced to hear nonsense via inaccurately anointed experts from "morality" or "values" groups whose expertise have more to do with how smoothly they can make a talking point sound factual. These people and the entities which employ them are not interested in truth. They work to manipulate our fears, our false ideas of "common sense," and especially our religious beliefs.

The fact of the matter is that transgender men, women, and children exist. They are not diseased nor are they mentally ill. They are normal people.  Our media needs to do better when it comes to talking about their lives and issues. We all need to do better. And the one thing we should draw the line at is being emotionally manipulated by shysters with the ability to polish off lies told about gay men "molesting or recruiting children" and carve them to fit a transphobic narrative.

At the very least, can these folks mind their own damn business and let this particular private family issue play out.  Very few, if any at all, give a damn about this family. All they care about are the gasps, shocks, and hits generated by their hysterical story telling. And especially about the fundraising and media attention that also come with these things. To them, pouring on the pathos and appealing yet again to the lie that the LGBTQ community are hurting children is more important to their goal of obtaining attention, power, and money.

Editor's note - A few days ago, a jury ruled that the little girl's mother, Georgulas, would get sole custody of her. On Thursday, federal judge Kim Cooks ruled that both parents would have joint custody of the girl and her brother and that both parents also have joint decision making with regards to all medical care involving both children.

The good news - Judge Crooks placed a gag order on the father so no more interviews with an accommodating, but lying conservative media.

The bad news - The accommodating, but lying conservative media seem to be the only ones covering this case. This means they get to continue to twist the story.

But the Washington Post published a wonderful and concise article about the situation. It deserves a reading

'Comcast executive suing for anti-gay discrimination' & other Thur midday news briefs