A six-year-old child who identifies as a girl when he’s with his mother and as a boy when he’s with his father is at the center of an intense Texas custody battle.
The mother, a pediatrician who has been dressing the child as a girl since age 3, enrolled him in first grade this year under a female name. She plans to begin chemical castration treatment by age 8 to prevent the puberty changes caused by male hormones. The father disagrees with the diagnosis, but due to early decisions in their custody case, is unable to seek a second opinion.
Worse, the mother is attempting to strip away his rights due to fears he will out the child’s dual-gender identity. You would think that supporters of trans rights would be quick to support her. Instead, trans experts agree the boy doesn’t meet the guidelines for gender dysphoria and wonder if the mother isn’t suffering instead.
The child has a fraternal twin brother who identifies as male. There are concerns the mother’s desire to also have a girl has contributed to gender confusion.
Sometimes parents make custody decisions early on for the sake of keeping the peace without ever thinking of potential negative consequences. For instance, granting the parent who has primary custody the right to make medical decisions seems to make practical sense. That’s especially true when that parent is a children’s health specialist. Unfortunately, those seemingly innocent agreements early on have tied the father’s hands.
The mother retained an attorney to represent the twins in court and began taking the child to a therapist specializing in transgender issues with the intention of helping the child through the social and physical transition to a female. The courts have ordered the father to pay for half of the child’s counseling costs.
The court has also ordered the father to:
- Avoid the topic of gender with the children
- Withhold his opinion of his child’s gender with third parties
- Refrain from altering the child’s appearance before getting permission from the twins’ attorney
The mother has also attempted to have a restraining order placed on the father for so-called aggressive behavior, such as encouraging the child to join a sport and describing it as a “real man’s game” to cutting the child’s hair to a shorter boy hairstyle. The mother attempted to have him restricted from their children’s school and even from their town, out of fear he would out his child as being born a male.
Thankfully, the courts have called for an independent evaluation by a children’s therapist. In the meantime, the mother continues to attempt to disrupt visitation and reduce the amount of time and influence the father has in his children’s lives. The ongoing legal battle is discussed in-depth on the blog Save James.