Conservatives in the United States have repeatedly spread disinformation and hysteria in a moral panic regarding transgender children. Though gender confirmation surgery is only available to people over 18 in the United States, they falsely claim that young children are undergoing these procedures. Though puberty blockers are reversible and often used by cisgender children, conservative politicians and media personalities falsely say they do irreparable harm.
Far-right Governor Greg Abbott of Texas has legitimized this hysteria with policy, most recently with a directive to the state's Department of Family and Protective Services.
The letter instructs the department to conduct a "prompt and thorough investigation” into any instances of children undergoing “elective procedures for gender transitioning," citing a recent opinion by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton that hormone therapies, puberty blockers, and confirmation surgery constitute child abuse.
Banning trans young people from coming to terms with their gender identity and expression can lead to dysphoria, or distress caused by the inability to express one's gender. Transgender youth are at much higher risk levels of suicide and self-harm due in part to ostracism like Abbott has instilled.
Now, five District Attorneys in Texas are publicly refusing to comply with Abbott's calls to investigate the parents of transgender children.
Signed by District Attorneys John Creuzot of Dallas County, José Garza of Travis County, Joe Gonzales of Bexar County, Mark Gonzalez of Nueces County, and Brian Middleton of Fort Bend County, the letter reads in part:
"[W]e will enforce the Constitution and will not irrationally and unjustifiably interfere with the medical decisions made between children, their parents, and their medical physicians. ... We want to assure our residents with transgender children that they are safe to continue seeking the care their children need. We will not allow the Governor and Attorney General to disregard Texan children's lives in order to score political points."
Social media users applauded the move.
Meanwhile, Abbott continues to face backlash for the policy.
The governor shows no signs of reconsidering.