Gender-affirming amputations

The ACLU tells us:

Families in Texas are worried that supporting their transgender kids will lead to a report of child abuse. We are already seeing families being investigated. Gender-affirming care is medically necessary, saves lives, and shouldn’t be the subject of an investigation.

Supporting transgender kids is one thing, and letting them get amputations and/or puberty blockers and/or cross-sex hormones is another. The ACLU does not know that what it calls “gender-affirming care” (i.e. amputations, puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones) is medically necessary, nor does it know that it saves more lives than it puts at risk. This is all new territory and it’s just not obvious, let alone established, that there won’t be thousands of people who regret making drastic permanent changes to their bodies when they weren’t old enough to evaluate the consequences. The ACLU is being horrifyingly reckless with the lives of other people in this stampede to say it’s just fine for teenagers to wreck their bodies because they think they’re the other sex.

Chase Strangio writes:

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and Attorney General Ken Paxton told trans youth in Texas last week that they considered their health care to be a form of child abuse. This is dangerous, dehumanizing, and terrifying to trans youth and their supportive families.

But it isn’t “health care” as commonly understood. It’s pretty dangerous to give youth puberty blockers, too, but Strangio frames the issue as entirely good v evil.

The declaration will have devastating consequences — and we are already seeing them. Abbott and Paxton, along with the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services, want to investigate families simply for following best practice medicine and supporting their trans kids through lifesaving, medically necessary health care.

But it isn’t “medically necessary.” It may be psychologically necessary, or desirable, or better than the alternative, in some cases, but medically necessary it isn’t. It’s not “best practice” medicine, and there are plenty of detransitioners who can explain why. It’s isn’t “lifesaving” unless you make dangerous and reckless assumptions about suicidality.

The Texas law sounds intrusive and harsh, and I don’t trust Republicans to make good laws, but the ACLU/Chase Strangio take is manipulative and melodramatic and inaccurate.

In addition to being outside of the scope of their authority and clearly motivated by partisan politics, this policy is wrong and is opposed by health care professionals and child welfare experts. It also isn’t isolated — while particularly extreme and cruel, Texas politicians are part of a coordinated effort to shame, dehumanize, and attack trans kids. The end result won’t be that fewer kids grow up to be trans, it will be that fewer kids grow up.

“Give us what we think we want in this moment or we’ll kill ourselves.”

Chase Strangio is dangerous.

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