Author Topic: Transgender Issues; pedophilia, grooming, and the sexualization of children  (Read 3050 times)




Crafty_Dog

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Pivotal Transgender Trial upcoming
« Reply #53 on: October 18, 2022, 11:09:06 AM »
Future of Child Transgender Surgeries to Be Decided in Pivotal Trial
39 states take sides in challenge of Arkansas ban on transgender treatments of minors
By Janice Hisle October 10, 2022 Updated: October 17, 2022biggersmaller Print


Combatants on both sides of the war over gender-altering drugs and surgeries for minors are crying out, “We’ve got to help these distressed children!”

However, trying to chart a course toward that goal is like trying to see clearly through a dust storm.

Arguments over medical standards, morality, and money are swirling through statehouses and courthouses, schools and churches, hospitals and homes. Undisputed facts are in short supply, obscured by waves of emotion and evolving, politicized terminology.

At the same time, a rising tide of juveniles experiencing gender dysphoria, a persistent dissatisfaction with one’s gender, demands urgent attention.

Against that backdrop, officials in Arkansas—home of the nation’s first ban on gender-altering procedures for children under 18—will see if the law holds up in court.

The law’s constitutionality goes on trial in Little Rock starting Oct. 17, less than three weeks after a very different law became official, declaring California the first “sanctuary state,” where out-of-state minors can come for transgender-related medical treatments.

The California law will likely face a court challenge, too, as a conflicting patchwork of legislation on the issue blankets the nation.

For now, the spotlight is glaring on Arkansas’ Save Adolescents from Experimentation (SAFE) Act, as forces line up to prop it up or defeat it.

As the case heads for trial, the SAFE Act counts 19 states, primarily Republican, in its corner, along with some two dozen other groups, transgender people, and doctors.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), which sued to overturn the act, counts 20 predominantly Democratic states in its corner, plus dozens of families with transgender children and several dozen medical societies and activist groups that promote human rights and LGBT rights nationally and globally.

The law’s fate could greatly influence how America responds to a small but widening pool of families and children in turmoil over a child’s gender dysphoria.


No Middle Ground

The complex debate has split into two opposite groups, each with its own set of catchphrases.

One group favors making puberty-blocking drugs, cross-sex hormones, and gender-altering surgeries available to youths, saying such procedures constitute “medically necessary, life-saving, gender-affirming care.” Those phrases repeatedly appear in court filings opposing the Arkansas law.

In the other camp, supporters of the SAFE Act and similar legislation decry the “medicalization, manipulation, and mutilation” of vulnerable children, driven by groupthink and profit motives of a new, multibillion-dollar gender-transition industry.

The nation’s largest medical groups support the “gender-affirming” approach and have thrown their support behind the ACLU’s lawsuit, which says “a well-established medical consensus” guides treatment plans for gender dysphoria and doesn’t always advocate medical intervention.

Critics say the medical establishment has silenced dissenters’ concerns about altering children and teens’ developing bodies when the science is far from settled; long-term effects remain unknown. They question the wisdom of rushing the procedures, citing studies showing the vast majority of transgender-identifying youths later “desist” and revert to the gender that matches their biological sex.

State Rep. Robin Lundstrum, who introduced the SAFE Act, said, “There have been plenty of times in the past when medicine had said, ‘This is the right thing to do,’ but they’ve been wrong, and common sense and science have won out.”


Politics

By all indications, the number of children and teens identifying as an alternative gender is surging, perhaps because of social contagion, under the influence of peers and internet sites that glorify transitioning.

According to a Reuters report released this month, 42,000 U.S. children and teens were diagnosed with gender dysphoria in 2021, a caseload that nearly tripled since 2017.

The Gender Mapping Project, which calls itself “an educational resource for anyone who has been affected by the gender industry,” says a handful of gender clinics for children existed in North America a decade ago.

The number now exceeds 400, as confirmed by a force of unpaid volunteers who work in secret to gather evidence on the clinics’ activities.

Advocates argue that the availability of “gender-affirming care” can tamp down suicides and attempted suicides, which occur at alarming rates among gender-dysphoric youths.


In Arkansas, a half-dozen transgender adolescents attempted suicide within a few weeks after the SAFE Act’s passage, the ALCU said in a court filing, implying that the impending ban may have pushed those teens over the edge.

Lundstrum’s reaction: “If you have children wanting to kill themselves, there are some serious underlying issues that need to be addressed.” Anyone who is suicidal needs to go to an emergency room and a counselor’s office, not to a plastic surgery suite or an endocrinologist’s office, Lundstrum said.

She cites a lack of solid, long-term studies showing that medical interventions help the suicide rate among transgender juveniles. And, she said, there’s convincing proof that sex-reassignment surgeries worsened the problem among adults. A respected, 30-year Swedish study showed sex-transitioned adults committed suicide at a rate 19 times greater than the control group.

The Republican lawmaker notes that the warring factions in this controversy have split along political party lines. She noted that few Democrats in Arkansas—or elsewhere in the U.S.—have spoken out.

When Lundstrum heard about a Democratic lawmaker willing to oppose transgender treatments for minors in Georgia, she contacted his office to offer moral support. But a staffer told her that the legislator faced immense blowback, so he bowed out.

Leaders need to set aside political agendas, Lundstrum said, and drill down to the core issue: What influences might be compelling children to feel they need to change their bodies dramatically?

“We should be locking arms across the political aisle and telling these kids they are incredible just the way they are,” she said. “If we don’t, I think that, in 10 years or less, as the science comes out, people are going to look back and say, ‘I can’t believe what we’ve done.’”

Unlikely Ally

After taking one glance at the SAFE Act and its sponsor, a Southern Baptist from a red state, some people assumed that Lundstrum surely must be misguided, anti-transgender, or “transphobic.”

But those labels, lobbed at Lundstrum and her legislation, are laughably inaccurate, says Scott Newgent, a biological woman who medically transitioned to appear male. Newgent calls Lundstrum a friend.


Now living in Texas, Newgent, 49, became medically masculinized at 42. Since then, Newgent has undergone eight surgeries, endured repeated complications, and amassed $1.2 million in medical bills. The costs will continue climbing for the rest of Newgent’s lifespan.

Doctors brushed off Newgent’s questions about the risks of transition procedures; many “gender-affirming” advocates do that, too, Newgent said, blinding gender-dysphoric children and their parents to the dangers of the proposed panacea.

Newgent says the transgender-rights movement is not motivated by “love and acceptance,” as society was led to believe. Instead, it’s about making money. “Every child that they say is ‘transgender’ equals $1.3 million” for the medical and pharmaceutical industries, Newgent said.

A parent of three children, Newgent vehemently opposes “medical transitions” for minors. Newgent’s transgender journey and impassioned pleas to shield children have drawn international attention.

Surprised Skeptic

Upon hearing about Lundstrum’s bill, Newgent agreed with its stated intent but was prepared to hate it.

Many people in Lundstrum’s primary political sphere are conservative, heterosexual, and presumably clueless about the thorny issues entangling medical gender transition, Newgent said. Without that understanding, it would be impossible for her to produce a well-crafted piece of legislation to restrict the procedures.

Newgent also was skeptical of Lundstrum’s motives. Had she latched onto the hot-button issue of the day to make political hay?

After investigating, Newgent was pleasantly surprised about the bill and its sponsor.

Newgent found the SAFE Act was worded accurately, backed by research, and potentially very effective. “I say, ‘Bravo.’ A few tweaks and this could be a nationwide HALT to medical transitioning children,” Newgent wrote in a May 2021 blog post.

Newgent commended Lundstrum for citing “the experimental nature” of using puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones on children. The SAFE Act also lists “serious known risks” of these drugs’ legal but off-label use, including blood clots, osteoporosis, diseases of major organs, and irreversible infertility.

Newgent contacted Lundstrum to apologize for unfairly prejudging her.

Over the phone, the two struck up a friendship; they communicate often but have not yet met in person. Despite coming from starkly divergent backgrounds, Newgent and Lundstrum found common ground.

“Imagine me, Scott Newgent, a fully transitioned transman, saying the words of Robin Lundstrum: ‘Those kids are precious. Some of them may choose to be transgender when they’re older. That’s OK. …. But when they’re under 18, they need to grow up first. That’s a big decision; there’s no going back,’” Newgent wrote.

“In fact,” Newgent wrote, “I have said almost these exact words, many times now.”


In its lawsuit against the SAFE Act, the ACLU declares that a person’s gender identity, or sense of belonging to a particular gender, “is durable and cannot be altered through medical intervention.” If that’s so, how can people declare they are “gender-fluid” and frequently change their genders?

Newgent’s take: “Gender is not fluid. Masculinity and femininity are fluid.” But neither of those attributes replaces “a biological fact,” Newgent said: DNA imprints a person’s sex as male or female, and no amount of drugs or surgeries can change that.

“I will never be a man,” despite outward appearances, Newgent said.

A high percentage of the young people who declare, “I am trans,” are autistic, abused, mentally ill, or just oddballs who feel lost and isolated, Newgent said. Proponents of medical transition are selling them a fantasy: “They can be cured of this oddity,” Newgent said.

Lots of these people later come to important realizations, Newgent said. They see their deep mental and emotional scars remain after the procedures. Some recognize their confusion was over sexual orientation rather than gender identity.  That helps explain why some gays and lesbians have sided with Lundstrum, a mother of two and grandmother of four whose political base is populated with Christian evangelicals, Newgent said.

Lundstrum said some people overemphasize her religion.

“People think I’m going to thump them over the head with a Bible,” she said, with a laugh. “I’m not that way.”

Newgent said Lundstrum has demonstrated that she doesn’t have to be in lockstep with her base.

“She does what is right and doesn’t back away from it.”

‘Like Seeing a Car Wreck and Not Calling 911’

Unbeknownst to Newgent and most others, Lundstrum’s educational background influenced her to propose the SAFE Act.

She holds a doctorate in health sciences and has always been keenly interested in children’s studies and human sexuality. She worked as a rape crisis counselor and educator for a hospital. She also taught at John Brown University in northwest Arkansas.

After leaving academics and becoming a state lawmaker in 2015, Lundstrum stayed abreast of her former field of study.

“Never in a million years did I think my political life and academia would merge like this—never,” Lundstrum said in an interview.

But in late 2020, Lundstrum and other Republican women gathered for “The Dream Big Caucus.” They brainstormed legislation that would have the most significant impact on Arkansans.

Lundstrum piped up, “You know, there’s a lot going on in human sexuality.”

She mentioned learning about minors’ “chemical and surgical transition” in other states, particularly along the east and west coasts.

She recalled saying: “What I’m seeing is really terrifying because these kids have no clue what’s going on … Is anybody else seeing this?” Yes, her fellow lawmakers responded, telling her that it was happening in their state, too.

“And I was like, ‘Whoa, whoa … not in Arkansas,’” Lundstrum, a near-lifelong resident, said. She found websites proving that Arkansas hospitals were promoting transition processes for minors.

Lundstrum dug around and was alarmed when she saw the procedures were becoming more common than most people knew. Then she saw post-surgery pictures of teens. “It is brutal. It’s cruel. It looks like something out of a Nazi camp. And I don’t think that’s an exaggeration,” she said. “No 13-year-old should ever have their breasts removed. And no 17-year-old boy should ever have his penis and scrotum removed.”

She felt compelled to act: “It’s kind of like seeing a car wreck and not calling 911.  When you see a car wreck, you call 911.”

Act Passed Swiftly

A few months later, in February 2021, Lundstrum introduced the SAFE Act. Within weeks, it passed the House, 70-22, and the Senate, 28-7.  One Democrat Senator broke rank; Republicans cast all the other votes.

In April 2021, Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson, at the urging of medical groups, vetoed the SAFE Act, calling it government overreach. He said parents and doctors should make treatment decisions for juveniles, not the government. The next day, both chambers of the Arkansas Statehouse voted to override the veto.

The bill proved timely. In May 2021, Sweden’s Karolinska Hospital ranked as the eighth-best in the world, made an announcement that sent shockwaves through the transgender treatment realm. The hospital said it would stop using puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones as treatments for youths.

“This is a watershed moment,” the Society for Evidence-Based Gender Medicine said. The Swedish decision reflected a dawning global awareness of “the low quality of evidence” in studies investigating benefits of the treatments for youths, the Society said. As a result, efforts to help gender-dysphoric children may move away from medical interventions and toward “ethical psychological treatments and support,” the Society said.

The Swedish announcement made some supporters of the SAFE Act do a virtual “I-told-you-so” dance. The Family Council, a Christian advocacy group that influenced Lundstrum’s bill, wrote that the Swedish hospital’s shift in policy “is just more evidence that Arkansas was right to pass the SAFE Act.”

Several states responded by proposing bills patterned after the SAFE Act; the ACLU responded with its lawsuit.

Unconstitutional Discrimination Alleged

In its initial federal court complaint, filed in May 2021, the ACLU said it was representing four Arkansas families with gender-dysphoric youths, plus a pair of doctors who treat that condition. The SAFE Act “threatens the health and well-being of transgender youth in Arkansas” and also is unconstitutional, the ACLU alleges.

“It discriminates on the basis of sex and transgender status,” the ACLU said, noting the law forbids certain treatments “only for transgender patients and only when the care is ‘related to gender transition.’”

The plaintiff families in the lawsuit have transgender children who were ages 9-16 when the suit was filed. The youngest, Brooke Dennis, was “designated as male on her birth certificate, but her gender identity is female,” the suit says.

Brooke “always knew who she was,” the suit says, describing affinity toward activities and clothing traditionally considered “feminine” since age 2. Brooke went to a school counselor due to stress over gender issues, including classmates’ debates over which sex-segregated restroom Brooke should use.

After adopting female pronouns and a new name, “Brooke has returned to being the happy, bright-eyed child she used to be.” Brooke was diagnosed with gender dysphoria in late 2020 and expressed anxiety over “going through a typical male puberty” and having a male body.

“She recently cried and told her mom that she didn’t want to get an Adam’s apple,” the suit says.

Given all of that, Brooke’s parents were intending to start “puberty-delaying treatment” at the first signs of puberty, the suit said. The family has contemplated moving out-of-state to get treatment for Brooke if the SAFE Act is enforced.

Lundstrum expresses compassion for such families. But she can’t help but wonder what the future might look like for these children, especially because she has heard so many stories of regret.

Chloe Cole, now 18, is one teen who has gone public with a cautionary tale. She was born female but hated girls’ clothing. Discussions on social media sites convinced her she was transgender. She revealed that belief at 12. At 13, she got puberty-blocking injections, followed by testosterone, and eventually a double mastectomy. She now calls her transition “brutal,” and embraces her femininity while regretting the damage to her body.

She has started a group called “Detrans United,” to support fellow “detransitioners.” Cole isn’t listed among the official supporters of the Arkansas law, but she has publicly stated she supports a proposed nationwide ban on medical transitions for youths.

Deep Pockets

In July 2021, before the Arkansas law took effect, U.S. District Court Judge James Moody Jr. granted the ACLU’s request to block Arkansas from enforcing the law, pending the lawsuit’s outcome.

A federal appeals court recently sided with Moody and kept the temporary injunction in place, cueing a preliminary victory lap for the ACLU.

In a statement applauding the decision, Chase Strangio, an ACLU lawyer on the case, said the ruling showed “the state’s ban on care does not advance any important government interest, and the state’s defense of the law is lacking in legal or evidentiary support.”

Some fuel for the ACLU’s fight comes from its Jon L. Stryker and Slobodan Randjelović LGBT & HIV Project.

In 2021, Stryker and Randjelović bestowed the ACLU with a $15 million endowment to fund that project, the ACLU said in another release.

“The gift is the largest LGBT rights-focused gift in the ACLU’s history,” the release said.

Stryker is the founder and president of the Arcus Foundation, the largest non-governmental organization devoted to the LGBT cause, according to Jennifer Bilek, a journalist who has spent years tracking how money is connected to transgender activism.

Bilek believes that billionaires are behind the scenes, pushing for global acceptance of “gender identity” and “transgender” ideologies. The goal, she said, is to create new markets for medical services and products. Bilek has called the transgender crusade “big business dressed up in civil rights clothes.”

‘Body Art’ Illegal

In response to the ACLU’s filings, Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge pointed out that laws commonly forbid juveniles from making choices that are perfectly legal for adults.

Under Arkansas law, minors are barred from buying certain cold medicines. They can’t legally play bingo or the lottery. They can’t bet on horse races or dog races. And they also cannot have their nipples and genitals pierced or tattooed—not even with parental consent.

So that’s why it seemed logical to outlaw removing or altering those parts of a child’s body for gender-transition reasons, Lundstrum said. She sees the SAFE Act as a logical extension of the state’s child-protection measures.

“There is a huge list of all the things that we do to protect minors. ….You can’t drive until 16. And you can’t vote until 18,” she said. “But we will chemically castrate our children without thinking about counseling first, without finding out what the problem is, finding out why a child would want to disavow the sex that they were born with? It’s the irony and the sickness of that.”

Lundstrum says her legislation prompted great conversations with many transgender people. A few have told her that transitioning made them feel more comfortable about their identities, “but the pain, the long-term issues have cost them dearly,” she said.

One of the most poignant observations came from a male who medically transitioned to female and told Lundstrum, “So I’m living two lives at the same time, with all the health complications that come with living both genders.”

States that are listed in support of the Arkansas ban on transgender procedures for minors are: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, and West Virginia. In addition, Ohio has proposed a similar law, but isn’t listed among the official supporters of the SAFE Act.

The states that have sided with the ACLU’s fight to overturn the Arkansas ban are: California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington. The District of Columbia also listed.




G M

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EVIL in OR
« Reply #57 on: October 22, 2022, 07:32:59 AM »

Crafty_Dog

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 :x :x :x :x :x :x :x :x :x

Crafty_Dog

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NC: HS volleyball female concussed by trans
« Reply #59 on: October 22, 2022, 12:46:57 PM »


https://www.nationalreview.com/news/female-high-school-volleyball-athlete-suffers-serious-head-injury-after-transgender-player-throws-abnormally-fast-ball/?utm_source=email&utm_medium=breaking&utm_campaign=newstrack&utm_term=29462999

I saw the clip of this on FOX.  Apparently in girls' volleyball the net is a bit lower, and the girl-boy had serious air while spiking the ball full power.

DougMacG

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Re: NC: HS volleyball female concussed by trans
« Reply #60 on: October 22, 2022, 04:34:53 PM »


https://www.nationalreview.com/news/female-high-school-volleyball-athlete-suffers-serious-head-injury-after-transgender-player-throws-abnormally-fast-ball/?utm_source=email&utm_medium=breaking&utm_campaign=newstrack&utm_term=29462999

I saw the clip of this on FOX.  Apparently in girls' volleyball the net is a bit lower, and the girl-boy had serious air while spiking the ball full power.

"The height of the net shall be 2.43 m (7' 11 5/8") for men and 2.24 m (7' 4 1/8") for women. The net height is measured from the center of the playing court"


   - It's as If they've known since the beginning of time until now that men and women are built differently.

G M

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Re: NC: HS volleyball female concussed by trans
« Reply #61 on: October 22, 2022, 10:45:28 PM »


https://www.nationalreview.com/news/female-high-school-volleyball-athlete-suffers-serious-head-injury-after-transgender-player-throws-abnormally-fast-ball/?utm_source=email&utm_medium=breaking&utm_campaign=newstrack&utm_term=29462999

I saw the clip of this on FOX.  Apparently in girls' volleyball the net is a bit lower, and the girl-boy had serious air while spiking the ball full power.

"The height of the net shall be 2.43 m (7' 11 5/8") for men and 2.24 m (7' 4 1/8") for women. The net height is measured from the center of the playing court"


   - It's as If they've known since the beginning of time until now that men and women are built differently.

Why do you want to kill trans children, Doug?

DougMacG

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Re: NC: HS volleyball female concussed by trans
« Reply #62 on: October 23, 2022, 07:45:59 AM »
I'm trying to court the girls and women's sports vote over to the conservative side, taking extra pride in winning over the lesbians while letting the trans athlete activists remain Democrat.

Crafty_Dog

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Good strategy!  Let us know how it goes!

ccp

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".while letting the trans athlete activists remain Democrat."

except for the first women to win the mens decathlon in 1976  :wink:

Crafty_Dog

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 :-D :-D :-D

Crafty_Dog

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Crafty_Dog

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14 year old girl suspended
« Reply #69 on: October 28, 2022, 12:46:37 PM »

DougMacG

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Re: 14 year old girl suspended
« Reply #70 on: October 28, 2022, 01:18:52 PM »
second

for not wanting a girl with a penis (GWAP) in her locker room.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-11363713/Vermont-student-father-file-lawsuit-suspended-complaining-trans-pupil.html


Person with a penis, we used to have words for that, boy, man, he, him.  What could be more definitional than a penis and gender? 

Republican President Abraham Lincoln famously said:

"If you call a tail a leg, how many legs has a dog? The answer: four, because calling a tail a leg doesn't make it a leg."

https://www.nytimes.com/1993/02/22/opinion/essay-calling-a-tail-a-leg.html

Who are the deniers of science here?

Even with penis removed, you have a man with a penis removed.  Can you change your name and pronouns?  Sure.  Does that make you a woman?  No.  It makes you a man with penis removed. 

If you go into a private, one person bathroom, you can make your own gender label.  For shared bathroom designated by gender... don't others have some say.

The Left always said, how is (fill in the blank) hurting anyone else?  You just did.  14 year old girl suspended.

If I have a 100 IQ but identify as a person with a 150 IQ, what is my IQ?

Now I suppose I get the Paypal fine for unwoke strings of words.  And take down that Lincoln statue.
« Last Edit: October 28, 2022, 01:30:25 PM by DougMacG »

ccp

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I l ike that Doug

was thinking this could be expanded

just because you call someone an election denier does not mean the election was not stolen.
just because you state Hunter's laptop is Russian disinformation does not make him innocent.
just because you say democracy is at stake does not mean the person saying is not the threat to democracy

just because you claim to have adequate cognitive function does not mean you are not brain damaged and should not be holding public office

of course I could go on






Crafty_Dog

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Trans surgeries on 12 year old girls?
« Reply #74 on: November 02, 2022, 06:32:03 AM »



DougMacG

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Re: Florida bans puberty blockers and trans surgery for minors
« Reply #77 on: November 04, 2022, 03:10:36 PM »
https://www.nationalreview.com/news/florida-bans-puberty-blockers-and-transgender-surgery-for-minors/?utm_source=email&utm_medium=breaking&utm_campaign=newstrack&utm_term=29600304

Good.  You would think genital mutilation of a minor, including by chemicals, without their consent since they are legally not capable of consent, would already be against the law.



DougMacG

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Re: Trans vs. the TERFs in NYC
« Reply #79 on: November 15, 2022, 07:17:02 AM »
Had to look it up:  TERF = trans-exclusionary radical feminist

I'm so old I can only name 2 of the 57 genders.  I remember when woman meant girl who grew up.

Crafty_Dog

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Re: Transgender Issues; pedophilia, grooming, and the sexualization of children
« Reply #80 on: November 15, 2022, 10:00:35 AM »
I didn't know TERF either until I read the article.

Crafty_Dog

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Trans wins local Miss America
« Reply #81 on: November 15, 2022, 05:01:51 PM »


Crafty_Dog

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Groomed and preyed upon
« Reply #83 on: November 20, 2022, 04:48:17 PM »
second

https://dailycaller.com/2022/11/20/transgender-regret-detransitioner-luka/?utm_source=piano&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=breaking&pnespid=s6V3GScZN6wTxfDBoCioCZ6IpB.xWctnKfG10bVuog1mDS48BehBWe63cdzjBKDeTDY7sgne

‘Groomed And Preyed Upon’: Young Woman Was Pressured Into Mastectomy, Testosterone As A Child — Now She Regrets It

Daily Caller News Foundation logo
LAUREL DUGGAN
SOCIAL ISSUES AND CULTURE REPORTER
November 20, 2022
9:22 AM ET
FONT SIZE:

Luka, a 20-year-old woman who began identifying as transgender in adolescence, now regrets taking cross-sex hormones and having a double mastectomy at 16; she says doctors pressured her into medically transitioning.

Her story is a microcosm of what’s happening across the U.S.: thousands of teen girls are undergoing irreversible biomedical interventions to resolve gender identity issues they would likely outgrow on their own, experts say, and doctors are encouraging the medicalization of these minors despite health risks the treatments present.

“My parents were told the same thing so many other parents in these situations are told, ‘Would you rather have a dead daughter or a living son?’ despite the fact that, no matter all my mental health struggles, I had never been suicidal,” Luka told the Daily Caller News Foundation.

Luka was 15 when she was first encouraged by her therapist to come out as transgender while she was hospitalized for mental health issues. A surgeon removed her breasts when she was 16 in a “gender-affirming” double mastectomy, and she went on cross-sex hormones soon after, which permanently changed her face, body and voice.

At 20 years old, Luka now regrets listening to doctors and medical professionals, whom she says misled and manipulated her into undergoing irreversible medical procedures.

“There was no stopping to question if this was the right way to deal with the discomfort I was feeling around my body,” Luka told the Daily Caller News Foundation.

At no point did doctors inform Luka that there were ways to resolve her mental health problems besides transitioning, which she now believes would have been enough to prevent her from going through with the procedures, she told the DCNF. Her doctors appear to have adopted the “gender affirmation approach” promoted by transgender activists: they encourage gender transitions rather than helping patients come to terms with their biological sex.

“The only acceptable answer to any medical professional was to ‘affirm’ what I said instead of offering any alternative ways of dealing with the issues I was suffering from. Those constant affirmations really did push me down the path of further medicalization,” said Luka, whose last name has been withheld to protect her privacy.

Luka is one of a handful of “detransitioners” speaking out against what they see as a medical establishment run amok, committed more to transgender ideology than patient well-being; their fears are backed up by a growing body of experts who believe the medical community is pushing minors onto the gender medicalization path to alleviate normal adolescent woes they would likely outgrow. Luka is sharing her story now in the hope that girls who find themselves thrust into the transgender medical world will slow down and reconsider before socially or medically transitioning.

“According to all the studies ever carried out on gender-distressed children, 80% of these kids grow out of it,” said Stella O’Malley, psychotherapist and founder of Genspect, an organization that is skeptical of the efficacy of the “gender affirmation” approach to gender dysphoria.

Numerous studies have shown similar figures.

“It’s very authoritarian of clinicians to pretend to know which child will persist in their trans identity and which will desist,” O’Malley said. “The rising numbers of detransitioners who transitioned when they were children shows that these clinicians are no less fallible than every other human.”


“We have no way of knowing what sort of adult the child will become and we shouldn’t allow clinicians with an inflated sense of their abilities to have this authority,” she told the DCNF.

The DCNF confirmed the details of Luka’s transition through a review of medical documents and photographs. The names of the clinics and medical professionals involved in her transition have been withheld at her request due to her fear of possible retaliation.

A therapist first encouraged Luka to come out as transgender while she was partially hospitalized for unrelated mental health issues at age 15, as a freshman in high school, she said; this meant she was sleeping at home but spending most days at the hospital. She had expressed general discomfort with her body and said she might be questioning her gender identity, and her therapist told her to come out as transgender to her parents, claiming it was the best way the get the help she needed, Luka told the DCNF.

Luka had only met with that therapist once or twice on a one-on-one basis prior to that meeting, she said. During that therapy session, Luka said she was overwhelmed, shaking with anxiety and nearly blacked out. Afterwards, her parents were told that she was at high risk for suicide if she didn’t transition — a common talking point among transgender activists, politicians and some health care professionals.

“I cannot stress enough how I was not in a good place mentally at that point in time,” she said. “I’d say that first visit to the partial hospital definitely solidified that identity of transgender in me and started that process of social (and later medical) transition, since up until that point I was questioning but hadn’t put any label on myself yet.”

“It was only rather recently after I really was able to take a large step back from having direct interactions with those medical professionals that I was able to process everything and really work through the actual causes of my dysphoria and general discomfort,” she told the DCNF. (RELATED: ‘Transient Phase’: England Moves To Restrict Transgender Procedures For Kids As Biden Doubles Down)


Soon after adopting a transgender identity, Luka moved from her all-girls school to a public school, where she began wearing chest binders and going by a new name. Transgender activists refer to this process as “social transition.”

While activists claim the practice is easily reversed, critics say that social transition further confuses children and cements transgender identification.

“Social transition has a critical effect on [transgender identification’s] persistence,” wrote Dr. Stephen B. Levine, a Distinguished Life Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association, in his expert witness statement in a court case over transgender participation in school sports. “It is evident from the scientific literature that engaging in therapy that encourages social transition before or during puberty … is a psychotherapeutic intervention that dramatically changes outcomes.”

“Studies conducted before the widespread use of social transition for young children reported desistance rates in the range of 80-98%, [while] a more recent study reported that fewer than 20% of boys who engaged in a partial or complete social transition before puberty had desisted when surveyed at age 15 or older,” he wrote.


After Luka’s social transition came the more invasive, irreversible treatments.

A therapist she was seeing at her gender clinic recommended she visit a plastic surgery center, she said. Luka did, and underwent a double mastectomy at 16 years old, about a year and a half after “coming out” as transgender. No one at the clinic seemed to have any hesitations about Luka’s age, she said, and the purpose of her appointments prior to surgery were simply to get familiar with the clinic, not to determine if surgery was actually right for her.

“The doctors themselves seemed to have no hesitation about the surgery,” Luka said, noting that the surgery was delayed a few months due to concerns about her mental health and recovery timing. “The initial consultation at the gender identity clinic was around two hours just asking how I felt about things related to gender.”

Double mastectomies, often referred to by doctors and transgender activists as “top surgery,” are frequently recommended to underage girls with gender identity issues; numerous hospitals in the U.S. openly perform them on minors, and some surgeons advertise the procedure on youth-dominated social media platforms like TikTok.

Mastectomies can result in loss of nipple sensation, and some patients choose to have the nipples removed entirely, according to Miami-based plastic surgeon Sidhbh Gallagher, who promoted double mastectomies on TikTok.

There’s no comprehensive data on how many minors have received mastectomies in pursuit of gender transitions in the U.S., but Boston Children’s Hospital performed 65 top surgeries on minors from 2017 to 2020, according to data published by the Journal of Clinical Medicine. The average top surgery patient was 18, and the youngest was 15, according to the review.

At least 1,130 chest surgeries were performed on adolescents (98.6% of whom were female) in the U.S. from 2016 to 2019, according to one study conducted by researchers at Vanderbilt University, but this data only includes hospital settings; it doesn’t account for the patients who had surgeries at private practices or the likely higher number of minors who underwent the procedure from 2020 to 2022.

Doctors often recommend patients take testosterone, referred to as “hormone therapy,” before undergoing mastectomies to promote chest muscle growth, according to the Mayo Clinic. However, Luka said she wasn’t prescribed testosterone until after her surgery.

“After getting surgery at 16, getting on hormones later that fall went very quickly,” she said. “I met with my doctor at the gender clinic, had blood work done and got a prescription for testosterone.”

She continued to take testosterone until earlier this year, at the age of 20, when she realized it hadn’t resolved her underlying problems. It had, however, resulted in a long list of health issues, Luka told the DCNF: she stopped getting her period, her voice grew deeper, she began growing facial hair, her jaw became more square, her figure changed from hourglass to rectangular and she developed a deeper voice.

She also said she was unable to cry while taking testosterone, adding that it affected her thought processes in a way that she struggled to describe.

Gender transitions are an off-label use of testosterone that has not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration, and the side effects still aren’t fully known, according to Kaiser Permanente. The drug can result in permanent infertility and carries the risks of high blood pressure, strokes, heart attacks, cancer, liver damage, weight gain and diabetes.

Medical professionals convinced Luka’s parents to allow her to have the procedures, she said, by telling them their daughter might commit suicide if she didn’t medically transition. She doesn’t blame her parents for what happened, and says they were just trusting a medical system that was supposed to help her.

“My mom was very concerned and opposed to the idea of me getting surgery, but was bullied by my dad and pressured by the doctors and therapists into being ok with it,” she said. “My parents were told the same thing so many other parents in these situations are told, ‘Would you rather have a dead daughter or a living son?’ despite the fact that, no matter all my mental health struggles, I had never been suicidal.”

Other detransitioners have come forward with similar stories; one young woman, Chloe Cole, is suing Kaiser Permanente for fraud after the hospital allegedly told her parents that her gender issues would never go away and that she was at high risk for suicide if she didn’t medically transition. After undergoing puberty blockers, hormones and a double mastectomy beginning at age 13, her gender dysphoria did go away; she is no longer transgender and, like Luka, she regrets the procedures.

“Chloe’s doctors coerced her into a life-altering and highly invasive medical treatment by concealing from her less invasive treatment options and by lying to her about her condition,” Harmeet Dhillon, one of Cole’s attorneys, told the DCNF. “This predatory and barbaric behavior from medical professionals needs to stop. ”

Dr. Joseph Burgo, a clinical psychologist, said some medical professionals ignore the various mental health issues young patients may have and instead focus solely on gender dysphoria, viewing their other problems as mere extensions of gender identity issues and the result of discrimination and mistreatment they may face.

“The current term used to describe this very real phenomenon is ‘diagnostic overshadowing,’ where a diagnosis of transgender identity takes precedence over all other mental health issues and becomes the sole focus of treatment,” Burgo told the DCNF. “Some practitioners hold that those other mental issues are caused by so-called ‘minority stress’ (non-acceptance of trans identities by society) and will actually be resolved through medical transition.”

World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH) and the American Academy of Pediatrics support cross-sex medical procedures for minors, which are legal in most states and widely defended by Democratic politicians. However, a growing number of health care professionals are coming out against the procedures, citing health risks and a lack of evidence of their safety and efficacy.

More than 1,700 medical professionals and concerned parents recently signed a declaration condemning WPATH’s guidelines over concerns about ethics, child safeguarding and the group’s alleged mischaracterization of scientific data. WPATH had removed age minimums for many cross-sex procedures, invalidated the experiences of detrantitioners and ignored scientific skepticism of cross-sex procedures to adhere to ideological positions, the declaration argued.

By ceasing her transition and speaking out, Luka joins a growing cohort of young people who adopted transgender identities, underwent cross-sex medical procedures in adolescence and eventually regretted it. These so-called detransitioners are largely female, and they often attribute their gender identity issues to social contagion or to pressure from transgender activists on social media.

“I would definitely say social media played a role in keeping the process of everything going, as well as some issues with being groomed and preyed upon by people online,” she said. “That probably played a much bigger role than any social contagion aspect.”

Transgender activists claim transition regret is rare, but the systematic review they often cite only counted patients who had undergone surgeries and omitted patients who had only taken puberty blockers and/or hormones. Likewise, the study’s data stretched back to 1989, long before medical transitions became common and readily available. It will likely take years to get more complete data on how many young women who transitioned recently will come to regret their decision.

Luka no longer identifies as transgender, and she avoids interacting with the transgender community. When she began questioning components of gender ideology, including childhood medical transitions, she said members of the transgender community shunned and shamed her.

As for her future, she wants a normal life and is waiting to see how she can recover from her transition.

“I want to get through university, find a job and hopefully in the future find someone, get married and have a family, some of which is definitely dependent on finding out if the damage done from transitioning can be undone,” she said.

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Re: Groomed and preyed upon
« Reply #84 on: November 21, 2022, 07:03:47 AM »
"Young Woman Was Pressured Into Mastectomy, Testosterone As A Child — Now She Regrets It"


   - What happened to do no harm?  Doctor should have his license pulled, IMHO.



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NRO: School Counselor Fired over objections to Child Transition
« Reply #87 on: November 29, 2022, 05:18:58 PM »
third

Wisconsin School Counselor Sues District after Firing over Objections to Child Gender Transition
By RYAN MILLS
November 29, 2022 10:10 AM

A former Wisconsin elementary school counselor who was fired after she spoke out against transgender ideology during a feminist rally last spring is suing the school district claiming district leaders violated her First Amendment and due-process rights.

Marissa Darlingh, a Milwaukee-area school counselor for eight years, was fired from her job at Allen-Field Elementary School on September 30, in part for allegedly showing “contempt towards transgender individuals, and an inability to support or abide by the district’s equity goals,” her termination letter stated. Lawyers for the Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty say Darlingh had the right to speak out against a controversial ideology she believes is dangerous.

In mid-November, they filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court against district officials and the school board for firing Darlingh for what they say is constitutionally protected speech.

National Review reported on Darlingh’s case in May, after she received a letter from the state education department informing her that she was being investigated for engaging in immoral conduct and that her educator license was in jeopardy. The state investigation is still pending.

The district claimed Darlingh was fired for violating polices against using threatening or abusive language, bullying, and engaging in activity that detracts from the district’s image or reputation.

“You not only harmed students and families, you negatively impacted the district’s image as a school district that values equity and is committed to providing a safe, inclusive, and supportive learning environment for all students,” Darlingh’s termination letter read.

But Luke Berg, a lawyer representing Darlingh, said his client has never violated any district policies or guidance regarding transgender students, and is being punished for expressing disfavored opinions. “They object to her speech. They object to her message,” Berg said. “And they apparently think it’s so wrong, what she said, that it’s a fire-able offense, and doesn’t warrant any sort of conversation, any sort of warning, any sort of discussion whatsoever.”

Darlingh’s firing stems from a short but fiery and unscripted speech she gave against what she described as “gender identity ideology” in schools, according to a YouTube video. She spoke during a feminist rally on a Saturday in late April in front of the state capitol in Madison.

Darlingh, who identified herself at the rally as a Milwaukee Public Schools counselor, spoke for about three minutes at an open microphone. She voiced opposition to hormone treatments, social and medical gender transitions, and gender-reassignment surgery for kids. At one point she said “f*** transgenderism.” She also stated that she exists “to serve children” and “to protect children.”

“On my dead f***ing body will my students be exposed to the harm of gender identity ideology,” she said during the rally. “Not a single one of my students on my f***ing watch will ever transition socially and sure as hell not medically. Absolutely not.”

A group protesting the rally organized a campaign to “cancel” Darlingh, sending emails to district staff calling for her to be fired, according to the lawsuit. Less than a week after the rally, Darlingh received a letter from the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, the state education department, informing her that it had opened an investigation. Darlingh’s supervisor also began an investigation in late April, according to the lawsuit.

On June 9, Darlingh received a letter from her supervisor, Ophelia King, informing her that “certain facts have come to my attention which might lead to disciplinary action against you regarding your failure to follow District Rules and Policies.” The letter listed several possible policy violations, but did not state how Darlingh’s conduct may have violated district policies. A Zoom video conference was scheduled for June 15.

On June 14, a few days before the end of the school year, Darlingh received a second, “emergency scheduling” letter informing her that she was suspended from her job. The first three days of the suspension would be paid, but the rest would be unpaid.

“Clearly what they were trying to do was put her into this unpaid suspended state during the summer to make it hard for her to know what to do for the fall,” Berg said. “I think they were trying to pressure her to quit her job, but she loves her job and wants to keep doing it.”

In Darlingh’s termination letter, Adria Maddaleni, the district’s chief human resources officer, wrote that school counselors are expected to be advocates for “systemic change” and “equitable educational outcomes,” and are to “foster and affirm all students and their identity.” The statements Darlingh made in Madison were “threatening and intimidating,” she wrote. She added that because Darlingh identified herself during the speech as a Milwaukee elementary school counselor, she “did not speak out as a private citizen,” but was instead a “reflection of the district.” At no point, Maddaleni wrote, was Darlingh “authorized to comment on the topic of gender identity or to characterize the care provided by the District to our students.”

Berg argues that just because Darlingh identified herself as a district employee doesn’t mean she forfeited her free speech-rights. The Supreme Court has ruled that citizens do not give up their First Amendment rights when they work for the state, and can speak out on matters of public concern. But their rights to speak must be balanced against the interests of the state to efficiently perform its public services through its employees.

Berg said a public employee can be fired for speech made as part of their official duties, but that is not what Darlingh was doing. “Her job as a counselor is not to speak publicly,” he said.

“This was on her own time. It was on a Saturday. It was a different city nowhere near where she works,” he added. “The district’s theory seems to be the mere fact that you identified yourself as a counselor means you are no longer speaking as a private citizen, but we know from Supreme Court caselaw that is not the [balancing] test.”

Berg said school employees, by virtue of their job, are likely to have opinions and insight as to how a school district should be run. “That is why their speech needs to be protected,” he said.

There has never been any evidence that Darlingh violated any district policies or guidance regarding transgender students, Berg said. In an interview on Fox News earlier this year, Darlingh said she wouldn’t change anything she said during the rally. But Berg said that during her hearing with district leaders, Darlingh clarified her position: she would abide by all district policies and the wishes of parents, but would not be the initiator of a child’s gender transition.

“She has since tried to qualify that to the district, and say, ‘Look, I will respect a student’s name and pronouns if the parents are involved, and that’s what they want. And if your policy requires something else, please let me know.’ And they basically ignored her statements to that effect in their termination letter,” Berg said, adding that Darlingh’s rally speech was unscripted. “You can’t expect her words are going to be super precise.”

Berg said Darlingh had little opportunity to review the allegations against her or to respond to them. “There was no conversation,” he said. “There was no discussion whatsoever, which, to me, clearly indicates they are firing her for her viewpoint on this. And that’s not okay.”

In an email to National Review, Milwaukee Public Schools defended its firing of Darlingh.

“At a public rally, Ms. Darlingh identified herself as representative of MPS and declared her refusal to provide mental health services in her role as a school counselor,” according to the email. “She proceeded to engage in a vulgar, insensitive, and disrespectful tirade aimed directly at the students in her care. MPS will not tolerate staff who target and marginalize students on the basis of their sex. The comments made by Ms. Darlingh run counter to the District’s commitment to provide a safe and supportive learning environment for all students.”

The lawsuit is calling for Darlingh to be reinstated to her position, in addition to receiving back-pay, and damages. It is also calling for the district to lift a no-trespass order it has in place against her.

The state education department’s investigation of Darlingh is ongoing.

The employees in charge of the school district’s proceedings were uninterested in any resolution other than firing Darlingh, her lawyers say. Berg denied the school district’s allegation that Darlingh wouldn’t support students struggling with gender identity issues and would deny them services.

“In fact, what she told the district during the misconduct hearing, in our written response, in every email that we’ve sent, is that she would love and serve and treat all students equally, even transgender-identifying students,” Berg said. “Many of the students describe her as their favorite teacher in the school. They love her a lot for who she is. There’s no evidence whatsoever that she has ever treated any student differently, nor would she.”

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Texas AG sought state data on trans
« Reply #95 on: December 14, 2022, 03:19:17 PM »
second

Texas attorney general’s office sought state data on transgender Texans
Image without a caption
By Molly Hennessy-Fiske
December 14, 2022 at 6:00 a.m. EST

Alexis Salkeld Garcia poses for a photo at her home in Austin on Monday. (Sergio Flores for The Washington Post)


HOUSTON — Employees at the Texas Department of Public Safety in June received a sweeping request from Republican Attorney General Ken Paxton’s office: to compile a list of individuals who had changed their gender on their Texas driver’s license and other department records during the past two years.

“Need total number of changes from male to female and female to male for the last 24 months, broken down by month,” the chief of the DPS’s driver license division emailed colleagues in the department on June 30, according to a copy of a message obtained by The Washington Post through a public records request. “We won’t need DL/ID numbers at first but may need to have them later if we are required to manually look up documents.”

After more than 16,000 such instances were identified, DPS officials determined that a manual search would be needed to determine the reason for the changes, DPS spokesman Travis Considine told The Post in response to questions.


“A verbal request was received,” he wrote in an email. “Ultimately, our team advised the AG’s office the data requested neither exists nor could be accurately produced. Thus, no data of any kind was provided.”

Asked who in Paxton’s office had requested the records, he replied: “I cannot say.”

The behind-the-scenes effort by Paxton’s office to obtain data on how many Texans had changed their gender on their license came as the attorney general, Gov. Greg Abbott and other Republican leaders in the state have been publicly marshaling resources against transgender Texans.

In October 2021, Abbott signed a bill banning transgender youths from participating in sports that align with their gender identity at K-12 public schools; this year he ordered the state to investigate the provision of gender-affirming care as potential child abuse. State lawmakers have already proposed more than a dozen anti-LGBTQ measures ahead of the next session in January, including criminalizing gender-affirming care and banning minors at drag shows.


Public records obtained by The Post do not indicate why the attorney general’s office sought the driver’s license information. But advocates for transgender Texans say Paxton could use the data to further restrict their right to transition, calling it a chilling effort to secretly harness personal information to persecute already vulnerable people.

“This is another brick building toward targeting these individuals,” said Ian Pittman, an Austin attorney who represents Texas parents of transgender children investigated by the state. “They’ve already targeted children and parents. The next step would be targeting adults. And what better way than seeing what adults had had their sex changed on their driver’s licenses?”

Alexis Salkeld Garcia, 34, of Austin, a trans woman who changed the gender listed on her driver’s license from male to female a year and a half ago, said the attorney general’s office inquiry made her feel “terrified.”


“It’s very specifically targeted, and the one person I don’t want knowing about my gender status is Ken Paxton,” said Salkeld Garcia, a software engineer who worries state officials might try to switch the gender listed on her driver’s license back to male.

“I don’t want a cop pulling me over and knowing I’m trans. That is why I changed my gender marker extremely quickly” after transitioning, she said.

Paxton’s office did not respond to requests for comment.

The records obtained by The Post, which document communications between DPS employees, are entitled: “AG Request Sex Change Data” and “AG data request.” They indicate that Paxton’s office sought the records a month after the state Supreme Court ruled that Paxton and Abbott had overreached in their efforts to investigate families with transgender children for child abuse.


Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, seen last year in Dallas, in June sought a list of individuals who had changed their gender on their Texas driver’s license and other department records during the past two years. (Emil Lippe for The Washington Post)
Paxton’s office bypassed the normal channels — DPS’s government relations and general counsel’s offices — and went straight to the driver license division staff in making the request, according to a state employee familiar with it, who said the staff was told that Paxton’s office wanted “numbers” and later would want “a list” of names, as well as “the number of people who had had a legal sex change.”


During the following two months, the employee said, the DPS staff searched its records for changes in the “sex” category of not only driver’s licenses but also state ID cards available from birth, learner’s permits issued to those age 15 and up, commercial licenses, state election certificates, and occupational licenses. The employee spoke on the condition of anonymity to avoid retaliation for describing internal state discussions.

DPS staff members compiled a list of 16,466 gender changes between June 1, 2020 and June 30, 2022, public records show. In the emails, DPS staff members repeatedly referred to the request as coming from the attorney general’s office as they discussed attempting to narrow the data to include only licenses that had been altered to reflect a court-ordered change in someone’s gender.


Demonstrators gather at the Texas Capitol in Austin on May 20, 2021, to protest legislation targeting transgender people being considered by the state legislature. (Eric Gay/AP)
DPS staff members did spot checks on the data, examining records that included names of specific individuals, according to records and the state employee familiar with the inquiry. But it was hard to weed out driver’s licenses that had been changed in error, or multiple times, or for reasons other than gender changes.


“It will be very difficult to determine which records had a valid update without a manual review of all supporting documents,” an assistant manager in DPS’s driver license division wrote in an email to colleagues on July 22.

On Aug. 4, the division chief emailed staff members, “We have expended enough effort on this attempt to provide data. After this run, have them package the data that they have with the high level explanations and close it out.” On Aug. 18, a senior manager emailed to say a data engineer had “provided the data request by the AG’s office (attached).”

Last month, The Post made a request to Paxton’s office for all records the attorney general’s office had directed other state offices to compile related to driver’s licenses in which the sex of the driver was changed, as well as related emails between Paxton’s office and other state agencies.


Officials indicated that no such records existed.

“Why would the Office of the Attorney General have gathered this information?” Assistant Attorney General June Harden wrote in an email to The Post, later adding, “Why do you believe this is the case?”

If they did, Harden said, any records were probably exempt from release because of either attorney-client privilege or confidentiality.

Marisol Bernal-Leon, a spokeswoman for the attorney general’s office, later emailed that the office “has reviewed its files and has no information responsive to your request” for either records it had requested from DPS or emails between the attorney general’s office and DPS.

Separately, DPS provided The Post with a half-dozen documents spanning three months that referenced the request by Paxton’s office.

When The Post shared copies of the records that had been provided by DPS, Assistant Attorney General Lauren Downey noted that “none of the records provided by the Texas Department of Public Safety are communications with the Office of the Attorney General. Our response to your request was accurate.”


Downey did not reply to questions about why the DPS emails refer to the request as originating from the attorney general. Paxton’s office has yet to respond to another public records request for any records of its contact with DPS concerning driver’s license changes via means other than email, including phone calls, video meetings and in-person exchanges.

The earlier attempt by Paxton and his allies to direct state agencies to identify parents of transgender youths and investigate them for child abuse has mostly been blocked by the courts.

Last year, lawmakers in the Republican-dominated legislature failed to pass a measure that would have criminalized gender confirmation care, which major medical associations have deemed science-based medical care. Afterward, state Rep. Matt Krause (R) — chair of the state House committee on general investigating — contacted Paxton, who issued a legal opinion that gender-affirming care for minors could be considered child abuse. Days later, Abbott directed the state child welfare agency to investigate parents facilitating such care for their children, sparking several investigations within days, according to public records.


After Abbott issued the directive, agency staff members were told not to communicate in writing about it, including emails and texts, according to public records.

Some of the families sued, winning a temporary statewide injunction in Doe v. Abbott, blocking the investigations until the lawsuit reached the state Supreme Court in May. The court overturned the injunction on procedural grounds but found that Paxton’s legal opinion was not binding and that Abbott did not have the authority to direct state child welfare staff members to initiate child abuse investigations of families with transgender children.

“[N]either the Governor nor the Attorney General has statutory authority to directly control DFPS’s investigatory decisions,” the court ruled.

But Pittman, the attorney who has represented Texas parents of transgender children, noted that lawyers for the attorney general’s office later argued against what the Supreme Court had determined: that Republican leaders “had political tools but they could not direct the department in that way.” He said they appeared to be “ignoring direct Supreme Court statements.”

The American Civil Liberties Union and Lambda Legal also sued to stop the investigations on behalf of PFLAG, an LGBTQ advocacy group with more than 600 members in Texas. A county judge in Austin ruled in their favor in September, blocking the state from investigating PFLAG members. That covered most of the dozen families the state admitted to investigating but not necessarily all, said Shelly Skeen, a Dallas-based senior attorney at Lambda Legal working on the PFLAG and Doe v. Abbott cases.

Skeen called the attorney general’s inquiry into driver’s license records “a gross violation of privacy” intended to “target one group of people to fire up their base while transgender people are just trying to live their lives.”

“The constitutional issues that this raises are equal protection and due process under the 14th Amendment as well as discrimination based on sex,” Skeen said.

Some Texas judges seal or restrict access to court records of gender changes for privacy reasons, but also because transgender individuals have been harassed online and faced threats of violence, Skeen said.


Smith Puerto and their wife, Kristina, pose for a photo at their home in Austin on Monday. (Sergio Flores for The Washington Post)
“If you do not have access to identity documents that match who you are, you are outed every time you show an ID,” Skeen said, “and this is what leads to the discrimination, harassment and violence that transgender people face.”

Smith Puerto of Austin, who identifies as transgender and nonbinary, changed their Texas driver’s license from female to male about a year ago. Puerto, 34, who works in client services at a tech company, has been training with their wife of five years to foster an LGBTQ teen and figured they had a better chance applying as a male, although there were risks.

“You definitely out yourself,” by changing the documents, said Puerto, who has had surgery, takes hormones and said they often pass as male.

“In a state like Texas, you don’t always want people to know you’re different,” Puerto said, calling the attorney general’s inquiry “horrifying.”

“It’s scary to know what he would want to do with that data,” they said.

Puerto, who moved to Texas from Ohio nine years ago, said they worry Paxton and other Republican leaders who have attacked the rights of transgender children are preparing to target transgender adults like them when the legislature reconvenes.

“It’s a constant conversation between my wife and I,” Puerto said. “Every session we hold our breath, kind of watching what horrendous bills get filed, and wonder how much longer can we stay here.”

Salkeld Garcia, who also takes hormones and had gender confirmation surgery, demonstrated against anti-trans legislation at the Capitol last year and called the prospect of what lawmakers could do next year “very nerve-racking.”

“In Austin we have a vibrant trans community, a beautiful queer community,” she said. “But it’s also scary, because it feels like you have a big fire burning all around you and you don’t know where it will spread or if it will burn you.”