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.