Reviews | Transgender youth are becoming a political issue in Texas

For the editor:

Regarding “Texas Court Halts Inquiries Over Transgender Children” (news article, March 12):

Thousands of parents — liberals, conservatives, and everything in between — face tough decisions when a child comes out as transgender, especially when that child showed no signs of gender dysphoria in their early years.

Unfortunately, this issue, like so many others in our country, has been politicized. Governor Greg Abbott of Texas’ edict to investigate parents for child abuse if they provide certain medical treatments to their transgender children was sweeping and divisive. A Texas court ruled March 11 that the policy was improperly enacted and violated the state Constitution.

Amid the political posturing, allowing children to alter their bodies through lifelong medical treatment deserves an analytic conversation. Parents around the world are wondering how to prevent their children from starting hormone therapy, which has lifelong side effects.

Many feel isolated and helpless as schools, therapists, gender specialists and others encourage gender transition. Many believe that children, perhaps too young to understand the implications of medical decisions, are being drawn into a social movement.

The problem is that we cannot talk about this issue without making it political.

Tina Traster
Valley Cottage, New York

For the editor:

In telling Texas Child Care Services to prioritize investigations into parents who help their children into transgender therapy instead of investigating actual cases of serious child abuse, Governor Greg Abbott said proved that its best the priority is not to help children in danger, but to strengthen its appeal to trans- and homophobic voters in order to obtain the Republican presidential nomination.

What a cold, insensitive man. Is this really the kind of person any party would want in high office? I hope not, but that he was elected governor of Texas is chilling confirmation of the coldness and callousness of his supporters. Here is yet another narcissistic politician targeting the White House by flouting the law and attacking those who are different. America is better than that!

Karla Jennings
Decatur, Ga.

For the editor:

Re “Victim of the fight against transgender youth: a crucial clinic” (press article, March 10):

As a pediatrician who has cared for transgender patients and trained at UT Southwestern Medical Center and Dallas Children’s Medical Center, I think the decision to close the clinic goes against everything the what is known about the care of children with the diagnosis of gender dysphoria and the recommendations of experts in the field.

I have seen firsthand the benefits of multidisciplinary care offered by clinics like Genecis. Closing the clinic will undoubtedly cause unnecessary suffering for its patients and other children who may have been treated there. It appears the administrators responded to requests from misinformed anti-trans supporters rather than the best science and evidence.

This trend of public health policy driven by misinformed anti-science political pressure is alarming – and hopefully short-lived and reversible.

jimmy unger
Portland, Oregon.

For the editor:

Re “This ‘Don’t Say Gay’ Bill Will Hurt Teenagers Like Me” (opinion guest essay, March 15):

Will Larkins’ heartfelt cry on behalf of gay and gender nonconforming teens touched me deeply. It also brought back a long dormant memory:

In 1990, when I was a sophomore in high school, I submitted an essay about a boy I liked. When my English teacher, Mr. Coyle, returned it to me, I saw that he had added in his uninviting red scribble the dreaded “Look at me after class”.

When the last of my classmates had left, I approached the large desk at the front of the room and, in a small voice, I offered, “Did you want to see me?”

“Yes,” said Mr. Coyle, pointing to my paper. “Are you okay with that? Because I am.”

Eight words I couldn’t have heard at home. Eight words that saved my life.

Mr. Coyle has since died, lost too soon to Alzheimer’s disease, but he lives in the spirit of Henry Adams’ words: “A teacher affects eternity; he can never say where his influence ends.

For the editor:

Re “Kim Jong-un Is Just Getting Started”, by Jean H. Lee (opinion guest essay, March 15):

Ms. Lee is right: the Biden administration needs to pay more attention to North Korea. But it lacks viable solutions to advance the increasingly difficult goal of denuclearization.

So far, US policies have only made the situation worse. For example, sanctions have failed to force Kim Jong-un to give up his nuclear weapons, and annual military exercises between the United States and South Korea further push North Korea to demonstrate its military capability.

Regional cooperation, including with China, will be essential to achieve denuclearization. A critical area of ​​cooperation could be replacing the ceasefire with a peace agreement formally ending the Korean War. Many experts agree that the unresolved status of the war has been the main obstacle to bringing peace to the region.

The Biden administration should prioritize diplomatic solutions by officially ending the Korean War on the table and take small reciprocal steps to normalize relations with North Korea in order to achieve the ultimate goal of a peninsula. Korea free of nuclear weapons.

Christine Ahn
The author is the founder and executive director of Women Cross DMZ, and coordinator of Korea Peace Now! These women’s groups promote peace on the Korean Peninsula.

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