Miriam and her 14-year-old daughter “D” live in Central Texas. They wanted to be careful about sharing their identifying information because there have been threats made against others who have testified against anti-trans measures at the Texas Capitol.
But they also wanted to share their story.
“I feel that there’s a lot of misinformation out there about how trans kids are treated,” Miriam told Texas Standard. “And I feel like also that in Texas, somehow this information’s not getting out. I’ve talked to people who tend to be very politically aware, and all over the country, and they’re like, ‘Oh, I didn’t know this was going on in Texas.’”
What’s going on is the movement of Senate Bill 1646. It would define gender-affirming treatments for transgender youth as child abuse. The bill passed the Texas Senate and was referred to a Texas House Committee this week.
“They’re basically trying to legislate these kids out of existence,” Miriam said. “If this passes, we may have to leave Texas. To be honest, I am not risking my child being taken from our custody; I’m not risking going to jail. But honestly, the scariest thing is her being taken away from us. So we would have to leave.”
Miriam says she feels fortunate that her family could withstand the hardship to uproot and leave if that became necessary.
“But there are thousands of families that aren’t in the same position we’re in,” she said.
“I’m personally disgusted and appalled,” “D” said. “They’re putting their political propaganda on my body and on my community’s body, and I’m tired of it.”
“D” says she came out her parents when she was eight or nine years old. At 12, she started hormone blockers, and the next year she added estrogen.
“You gradually add medication, and it was like a normal puberty, and I’ve been experiencing normal puberty and it’s been amazing,” “D” said.
Miriam says lawmakers’ ignorance to these treatments and how they are determined is a big part of her frustration.
“They’re not listening to the experts,” Miriam said. “Pretty much every single reputable medical association says these are the best practices for children. … They’re not understanding that the care is very deliberate; it is age-appropriate.”
“They don’t think of me as a human; they think of me as an abomination,” “D” said. “And I just want you to open your ears and listen.”
Miriam says she believes there’s also just a fundamental misunderstanding about the process families go through leading up to transitions.
“It’s something that there’s a lot of research and thought and sleepless nights and worry and all that that goes into this,” Miriam said. “But, you know, my daughter had a really rough time. And then when we started this affirming care she began to flourish.”
“D” says it saved her life – citing numerous studies that demonstrate the internal and external challenges for trans individuals.
“Anyone who can bravely come out of the closet – they are so brave, and it’s living in a world where, you know, you are going to be targeted like I am being right now,” “D” said.