In the latest development in a family court case that has drawn national attention, Judge Kim Cooks of Texas’ 255th Family District Court ruled Thursday that a father whose son was being transitioned to female by his mother would have joint medical decision-making rights, according to The Texan.
Despite the fact that the struggle between Jeff Younger and his ex-wife, Dr. Anne Georgulas, has been a contentious cultural flashpoint, only a limited number of reporters were allowed in the courtroom to witness Cooks’ ruling.
The ruling came after a Monday jury decision that Georgulas would have sole custody of the 7-year-old boy — and therefore complete control over any psychiatric and medical treatment he might receive.
Younger and Georgulas had taken different approaches toward their son James and his apparent desire to become a girl named “Luna.”
Georgulas had wanted to start “socially transitioning” their son, which involves “affirming” James’ gender identity as a female.
A social transition is often seen as a prelude to a medical transition — an intervention that often involves puberty-blocking drugs — although Georgulas has said she’s not looking to use puberty blockers now.
That’s pretty much a useless promise, however, given the fact that James isn’t anywhere near the point where they’d have to be used.
The Texan reported that doctors hired by Georgulas “argued that the mother did not intend to use puberty blockers prior to puberty,” but that “no one has stated that she would not be open to using them when James begins puberty.”
Younger, meanwhile, has countered with the claim that James is happy to live as a boy when he’s with his father, a sign that James doesn’t meet the criteria for social transitioning or a diagnosis of gender dysphoria. He’s proposed a “watchful waiting” approach to James’ gender instead.
A psychiatrist called by Younger’s attorney “testified that eleven studies had been completed showing that when an approach of ‘watchful waiting’ is taken without any affirmation or social transition, ‘desistance’ (identifying with the gender of one’s biological sex) occurred in around 80 to 90 percent of cases after children thought to be transgender continue developing throughout adolescence,” according to The Texan.
Younger’s attorney has “repeatedly contended that Georgulas does intend to pursue a medical gender transition for James, citing medical records that note James would be referred to doctors at the GENecis clinic for puberty suppression once he reached eight or nine years old,” the outlet said.
Earlier in the week, a jury ruled that Georgulas would have sole custody of James, which also meant sole discretion to handle his treatment.
Cooks put the brakes on this, however, giving both parents a joint conservatorship over James.
Cooks also ruled that Jeff Younger does not have to pay his ex-wife’s attorney fees.
The judge also imposed a gag order; The Texan said it merely applied to Younger while LifeSite News reported it applied to both parents.
It’s curious to note how this began — with James picking a girls’ toy with his McDonald’s Happy Meal.
He then started imitating female characters from Disney’s “Frozen” and requesting to wear dresses.
At this point, The Texan reported, Georgulas “contacted the GENecis clinic at Children’s Hospital Center, and they referred her to Rebekka Ouer for counseling. Ouer recommended a process of ‘affirmation’ and thought that a ‘social transition’ for James to begin going to school dressed as a girl named ‘Luna’ would be in his best interest.”
Furthermore, Younger had originally not chosen the name “Luna,” but instead “Starfire,” a character from the cartoon “Teen Titans Go!” Georgulas encouraged him to choose another name, which means James can apparently pick his gender but not what he wishes to be called.
I wasn’t in the courtroom for this case, but based on The Texan’s summation of the arguments, it’s hard to see how this rises to the “insistence, persistence, consistency” model used by mental health professionals to decide when a child should undergo social or medical transitioning.
Take this description from an American Psychological Association pamphlet on the matter: “Transgender children typically consistently, persistently, and insistently express a cross-gender identity and feel that their gender is different from their assigned sex. They may begin talking about their gender as soon as they begin to speak and some may express dissatisfaction with their genitals.”
“Transgender children are more likely to experience gender dysphoria (i.e., discomfort related to their bodies not matching their internal sense of gender) than gender diverse children, although some transgender children are comfortable with their bodies. Transgender children may state that they are really the other gender, or that someone (e.g., the doctor or a religious authority) made a mistake in their gender assignment.”
Even by the skewed rules that we use to judge whether someone who won’t be old enough to vote for 11 years can choose their own gender — if, indeed, we can say they’re actually choosing for themselves — James Younger’s case cannot be said to rise to that level.
This is even abiding by the madness that is child transitioning, though.
Without much medical or psychological evidence, we’ve decided that parents should make these decisions for their children because that’s the current fashion.
James Younger’s case should be a cautionary tale.
When parents’ doctors can’t even agree on whether or not their child has gender dysphoria — much less should be socially transitioned — and a jury comes down on the side of transitioning, we’ve entered dangerous new territory.
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