Gabrielle Union & More Slam TX Gov.’s Call To Investigate Gender-Affirming Surgeries As ‘Child Abuse’

The 'Bring It On' actress showed how disgusted she was with Governor Greg Abbott's direction to investigate families of kids who have gotten gender-affirming surgeries.

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Gabrielle Union, 49, and other celebrities called out Texas Governor Greg Abbott, 64, for a direction he gave to the state’s Department of Family and Protective Services, ordering them to investigate the parents of transgender children who have received gender-affirming surgeries as potential cases of child abuse. The actress and other stars slammed the governor’s decision as “dangerous” for the LGBTQ+ community.

The direction from Abbott came on Tuesday February 22 in a letter to Commissioner Jaime Masters. “Consistent with our correspondence in August 2021, the Office of the Attorney General (OAG) has now confirmed in the enclosed opinion that a number of so-called “sex change” procedures constitute child abuse under existing Texas law,” the governor wrote in the letter. “I hereby direct your agency to conduct a prompt and thorough investigation of any reported instances of these abusive procedures in the State of Texas.” Additionally, the directive called on professionals like teachers and doctors who may come in contact with children who have received the surgeries to report them.

Gabrielle torched Abbott for how dangerous this can be to the youths and families the directive will affect, and she called on her followers to take a stand. “We shot past dangerous and horrific a long time ago. The rubber has hit the road so who is standing shoulder to shoulder in this fight? Who truly gives a sh*t and whose on that performative bs? Let’s see,” she wrote.

The 10 Things I Hate About You star wasn’t the only one to take a stand against the directive. Lord of the Rings star Elijah Wood, 41, wrote that the policy showed that the governor is a “ghoul.” He also called the order “heinous,” while reminding his followers to “Protect trans kids” with a hashtag. One of the most direct condemnations of the order came from Bad Feminist author Roxane Gay, 47, who didn’t hold back at all, while also referencing Texas’ recent laws that have made it illegal for women to get abortions after six weeks. “This abhorrent bulls**t, like TX SB 8, is lethal legislation, further empowering individuals to self-deputize and enforce bigoted laws that reflect whatever fears and hatred they harbor. What starts with trans children and people w/uteruses will not end there,” she wrote.

Besides celebrities, there were organizations who also called out the governor for the directive, including the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). The ACLU warned that while the letter had no legal standing, it could lead to “false reporting of child abuse at a time when trans youth continue to be threatened by state leadership” due to a misinformation campaign. “Gov. Abbott’s direction to DFPS classifies gender-affirming care for trans kids child abuse, and will endanger the well-being of children across Texas. Outrageous,” the HRC wrote in a tweet. “We can’t let transphobic politicians harm our families.”

Gabrielle Union was one of many stars to speak out against the Texas governor’s directive. (MediaPunch/Jeffrey McWhorter/AP/Shutterstock)

The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) warned that this ruling could set an alarming precedent for the families of trans youth across the country, noting similar bans proposed in other states. They also advised Texas-owned businesses to speak out against this directive.”Texas leaders should listen to the experts instead of deciding they know what’s best for families. Every major U.S. medical association supports affirming healthcare for transgender youth. Healthcare is just that—care, and to suggest that trans youth should be separated from their families sends a terrifying and alarming message to kids and parents not just in Texas, but nationwide. Businesses that operate in Texas and host high-profile events like SXSW should contact Gov. Abbott and let him know how this will make doing business in the state more difficult and that the only result of his action will be unnecessary harm to trans people and parents of trans youth,” GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis said in a statement, received by HollywoodLife.

LGBTQ non-profit The Trevor Project also pointed out that parents who helped their children get gender-affirming surgery should be celebrated rather than investigated for child abuse. The organization also gave statistics that 52 percent of transgender and nonbinary youth considered suicide in the past year, while also explaining that kids in homes that have helped them get gender-affirming surgeries were less likely to attempt suicide. “Texas parents who support their trans kids should be applauded, not prosecuted. The Trevor Project’s research demonstrates that trans youth who feel accepted by the adults in their lives — including family members, teachers, and doctors — are less likely to attempt suicide,” Trevor Project CEO and Executive President Amit Paley said in a press release. “The government should not be involved in personal decisions that force doctors and families to act against the medical community’s standards of care for transgender young people.”

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