Media Trail - 11/1/19

Media Trail - 11/1/19

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Texas GOP leaders enter parents’ battle over child’s gender reported top Republican leaders in Texas recently weighed in on two parents’ battle over their 7-year-old child’s gender identity after the case was shared widely on social media and conservative news sites.

Former spouses Anne Georgulas and Jeffrey Younger, who live in the Dallas area, have been embroiled in a legal dispute over their divorce and the care of their children since 2015. Georgulas says the couple’s 7-year-old who was born a boy now identifies as a girl and prefers to be called a female name. Younger, who says the child acts like a boy around him, asked to be the sole decision-maker and launched a website in which he pleads for help to “save” his child.

Inaccurate and misleading stories about the 7-year-old have since circulated on blogs, Facebook posts, YouTube videos and petitions, bringing attention to a usually private matter.

Gov. Greg Abbott tweeted Oct. 23 that the attorney general’s office and Texas Department of Family and Protective Services were looking into “the matter” of the child. And on Oct. 24, Attorney General Ken Paxton said he was asking Family and Protective Services to investigate the mother for possible child abuse, citing “public reports” in a letter that alleges she is “forcing” the child to transition to a girl.

However, Judge Kim Cooks in Dallas said Oct. 24 during a hearing that the court noted no abuse, neglect or family violence in the case. Cooks ruled that the parents would make joint decisions about the child.

The judge scolded the father, who she noted was unemployed, for seeking publicity on the case and raising money on his website, but she also pointed out how the mother testified that her encouragement of the child being transgender may have been excessive.

Much of the public reaction to the case has focused on backing the narrative laid out on the father’s website, which features a headline saying he’s fighting “chemical castration and sex-change of his son.”

Cooks said Thursday that no Texas court or judge has ordered “the chemical castration, puberty blockers, hormone blockers or any transgender reassignment surgery on this child to become a female.”

Cooks said the court found that both parents love their children, and she noted the 7-year-old appears comfortable as a male or female.


Utah transgender nonprofit opens office in Orem

The Daily Herald reported a project that started as a way for one transgender person to pay for gender-affirmation surgery has grown into a Utah-based nonprofit helping others who can’t afford the procedure.

Ian Giles founded the organization Genderbands, which provides free chest binders and awards grants to help with surgery.

Giles uses they and them pronouns and started selling wristbands in 2015 as a way to pay for their double mastectomy.

Giles then turned Genderbands into a nonprofit to help others get surgery too. The organization now sells shirts, flags and pronoun pins around the world to medical offices, universities and corporations like Amazon and Spotify.

The organization has awarded grants for six surgeries and plans to fund four in its next application cycle.


Mississippi clinic focuses on LGBTQ community

The Meridian Star reported the University of Mississippi Medical Center has opened a primary care clinic focused on serving LGBTQ patients.

The university said it’s the first multidisciplinary LGBTQ health clinic in Mississippi.

Dr. Scott Rodgers, head of the school’s Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior, said the clinic aims to provide a welcoming environment where LGBTQ patients can talk openly about their sexual orientation or gender identity.

The clinic has specialists in family and internal medicine, pediatrics and psychiatry. It offers wellness visits, hormone treatment and STD screening among other services.

It is open the first Friday afternoon of the month, and patients need to make appointments.


School board appealing decision on transgender bathroom ban

The Tri-City Herald reported a Virginia school board is seeking to convince an appeals court that its transgender bathroom ban didn’t discriminate against former student Gavin Grimm.

The Gloucester County School Board filed a 76-page brief Oct. 22 with the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond.

The brief says a federal judge in Norfolk wrongly interpreted federal protections to rule that Grimm’s rights were violated. The board says laws protect against discrimination based on gender, not gender identity.

Grimm was assigned female at birth and now is a man. The board argues that Grimm is still physically female and was treated like all other students when he was required to use girls’ restrooms or a private bathroom.

Grimm’s lawsuit was once a federal test case that drew national attention. He graduated from high school in 2017. 

Reporting via Associated Press

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