The Philistines Who Run Texas
Readers of this blog know that I have championed the rights of transgender people especially after my experiences as the Chief Medical Officer at Legacy Community Health, a health care haven for the LGBTQ+ community in Houston. When I walked into the men’s bathroom at Legacy and saw what was apparently a woman adjusting her make-up and retreated to the door thinking I had entered the wrong room, but had not, I got it.
Readers will also know that the blog has addressed the current furor about the participation of trans-women in girls’ sports as being both controversial and difficult to figure out because many of these women did not transition until after puberty when their muscles were affected by testosterone and where current testosterone levels may not be the only determinant of whether or not an XY trans-woman has an advantage over her XX competitors. This needs to be resolved by the governing bodies of sports including the NCAA using good science.
Now comes the above article describing the effort by the State of Texas and its governor Greg Abbott and attorney general, the indicted Ken Paxton, to challenge the use of accepted medical treatment (puberty delaying drugs) to assist the transitioning of trans-people by calling it child abuse. These are the same leaders who insist that wearing a mask and getting vaccinated remain issues of individual freedom, but valid and accepted medical treatment to delay puberty until trans-kids and their parents can sort out the way to align an individual’s gender with his or her body is a crime. This is very simply a huge over-step by these two officials and shows them to be two things—hyper political and ignorant. They are pandering to the right-wing base that simply cannot accept the possibility that trans-people actually exist and are worried about the primary challenges they are getting from the extreme right wing of the Republican Party in Texas.
Texans should rise up as one and throw these Philistines out of office in November, but they won’t. Texans like the GOP stance on immigration (“build the wall”), taxes (let’s have none) and vaccination (it’s a choice—but gender selection is not).
The overwhelming evidence is that while biologic sex is mostly determined by XX vs. XY chromosome make-up, gender is quite fluid and not at all biphasic. Ditto sexual preference. No one chooses to be homosexual. That’s just the way they are. The same is true with gender and that parents should try to pave the way to a balanced life for their kids where their outer sexual characteristics match their inner gender identity is only the parents trying to do what is best for their children. The state has no role in this and Governor Abbott and pre-felon Paxton need to stay out of this.
They can’t have it both ways. Either Texans get to determine their life course, medical treatment and vaccination status or they don’t. Which is it Abbott and you don’t get to ask Costello, who’s on first?