At Texas Gov. Abbott's direction, a state agency abused a child

An eighth grader was pulled from his Texas middle school and grilled by state inquisitors from the Department of Family and Protective Services, an agency charged by Gov. Abbott to terrorize people receiving gender-affirming care, their families, and doctors. Left shaking and distraught, the young man is now suffering anxiety after being subject to an hour of bigoted and authoritarian questioning of his gender identity.

Perhaps Gov. Abbott's plan to prevent child abuse is to pre-abuse the children? This kid's mother described him as "thriving" before the State of Texas' intervention.


Earlier this year, when Texas Governor Greg Abbott directed the state's Department of Family and Protective Services to investigate instances of "child abuse" in families who've provided gender-affirming care for their trans children, people were rightly, extremely alarmed. Not only is gender-affirming care not child abuse, the lack of it is actually associated with risks of depression and suicide in trans children and teens. LGBTQ advocacy groups, public health experts, and health associations feared this bigoted and authoritarian directive would harm trans youth. They were right.

On Friday morning, the Washington Post published a story about a trans eighth grader in Texas, Steve Koe (a pseudonym), who was pulled out of class and questioned by the agency. His mother says he was "shaking and distressed;" she observed Steve go from "thriving" after his gender-affirming treatment to being "anxiety ridden" and suffering from frequent panic attacks after being investigated by the state. For nearly an hour the agency reportedly asked Steve personal questions about his medical history, his gender dysphoria, and his suicide attempt. While all of this was going on, Steve's classmates got to go about their normal, uninterrupted school day.