Six-year-old James is caught in a gender identity nightmare. Under his mom’s care in Dallas, Texas, James obediently lives as a trans girl named “Luna.” But given the choice when he’s with dad, he’s all boy — his sex at birth.
In their divorce proceedings, the mother has charged the father with child abuse for not affirming James as transgender, has sought restraining orders against him, and is seeking to terminate his parental rights. She is also seeking to require him to pay for the child’s visits to a transgender-affirming therapist and transgender medical alterations, which may include hormonal sterilization starting at age eight.
I learned of James’ plight on a recent visit to Plano, Texas, where I spoke to teenagers about my own transgender story. I lived through a similar scenario when I was his age. I was cross-dressed for two-and-a-half years by my grandmother, who made a purple chiffon dress for me. Somewhat like James, my cross-dressing occurred under one adult’s care, but away from grandma’s I was all boy with my mom and dad. Also, just like James, I found my way into the office of a gender therapist, who quickly started me toward transition.
When his mother, a pediatrician, took James for counseling, she chose a gender transition therapist who diagnosed him with gender dysphoria, a mental conflict between physical sex and perceived gender. James’ precious young life hinges purely on the diagnosis of gender dysphoria by a therapist who wraps herself in rainbow colors, affirms the diagnosis of gender dysphoria, and dismisses evidence to the contrary. Remove the “rainbow” from James’ diagnosis, and it crumbles under the weight of the criteria for the diagnosis of gender dysphoria.
The diagnosis is critical, because labeling a child with gender dysphoria can trigger a series of physical and mental consequences for the child and has legal ramifications in the ongoing custody case. Get it wrong and young James’s life is irrevocably harmed.
James Does Not Fit the Gender Dysphoria Criteria
The criteria for a diagnosis of childhood gender dysphoria are that a child be persistent, consistent, and insistent about being the opposite sex. James’s mom is “all in” on the diagnosis of gender dysphoria and assisting with social transition. She used the name Luna to enroll him as a girl in first grade, and provides only female clothes.