When Mary Elizabeth Castle learned that the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (TDFPS) had issued guidance concerning “genital mutilation” being child abuse, she was pleased but also confused.
“I’m happy with the response that was given on genital mutilation, but there’s still a few more answers that we need,” said Castle, senior policy advisor with Texas Values, an advocacy group in Austin. “The answer by the Department of Family and Protective Services is the first step to getting the ball rolling on legislation to have this codified into law.”
Castle’s questions include whether prescribing drugs to children that alter them in ways more consistent with their preferred gender is child abuse and whether performing mastectomies for teen girls transitioning to being male gendered is child abuse.
“It’s disappointing to learn that there are hospitals and medical centers in Texas that have been created solely for the purpose of childhood gender modification,” Castle told Dallas Express. “In addition to that, puberty blockers have not been approved by the Federal Drug Administration (FDA), and they have shown to have long-lasting effects on children’s bodies, including reduced bone density and delayed brain development.”
The Dallas Express reached out to the Transgender Education Network of Texas, but they declined to comment.
The GENder Education and Care Interdisciplinary Support (GENECIS) program at Dallas Children’s Medical Center states on its website that medical intervention is not recommended before the onset of puberty, but Natalie Cato, president of Save Texas Kids, alleges that GENECIS is giving young children irreversible puberty blockers, which allegedly cause alterations to their young bodies that turn out to be permanent.
“The GENECIS clinic made a big appearance at the Texas Capitol this past legislative session in April when they had one of their doctors testify at a hearing,” Castle said in an interview. “The doctor advocated against a bill that would have protected children from gender modification, and she also testified that her clinic does surgically remove the breast of teenage girls for the purpose of gender transitions.”
This contradicts their website, which states, “While the GENECIS program provides gender-affirming care, it does not perform gender-affirming surgery.” Dallas Children’s Medical Center did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
“A lot of the groups that support gender transition for children include Equality Texas, the Transgender Education Network of Texas, Planned Parenthood of Texas, and the Texas Freedom Network,” Castle said. “They mostly focus on the education side of advocating for gender ideology in schools, but they also testify against any type of bill that would protect children from gender modification surgery.”
Next week, Sept. 24 – 25, Texas Values is hosting the 4th Annual Standing for Faith, Family, and Freedom conference in Austin, where national and state policy leaders will be discussing gender transition and gender modification.
“We wholeheartedly disagree with these gender modification types of procedures, whether it’s through cross-sex hormones, puberty blockers, or surgery,” Castle added. “They have proven to increase the suicide rate, and they don’t do anything to help the mental health of children. If they just allow the child to stay as they are both physically and even socially, about 85% to 90% of children who experience any type of gender dysphoria eventually outgrow it.”
Dallas Medical board members Robbie Briggs and Joe Jouvenal did not immediately respond to requests for comment. Briggs is CEO of Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty, while Jouvenal is vice-president of operations at McCarthy Building Companies.
“It is disturbing the Board of Directors of Dallas Children’s Medical have allowed GENECIS to chemically castrate children using hormone therapy and puberty blockers,” Cato told Dallas Express. “These treatments have been banned in many countries like the U.K. and Sweden and are, in my understanding, illegal under Texas law.”
Save Texas Kids is calling on law enforcement authorities, including District attorney Greg Willis to investigate GENECIS.
“We strongly believe it is illegal for board members to knowingly facilitate these chemical castration procedures and hope that Texas law enforcement will take necessary action,” Cato said in an interview. “Parents allow this treatment out of a misguided attempt to alleviate body image issues that would be better dealt with through counseling until the child reaches adulthood and can make an informed decision.”
This article was updated on September 23, 2021 at 12:56 pm.