Children are too often the inadvertent victims of messy divorces. But one legal battle between divorcees in Dallas has placed their child at the center of a dispute in a way more contentious than usual.
The mother, Anne Georgulas, says that one of her twin boys believes he is a transgender girl. The father, Jeff Younger, disputes her claim saying that his son does not want to be a girl, but identifies with his biological sex.
When the boy is at his father’s home, he is known as James — the name given to him when he was born seven years ago along with his twin brother, Jude.
When James is at his mother’s home or at school, he goes by Luna and is dressed as a girl.
A 333-page document compiled by Jeff and some of his supportive friends states, “[James] says he wants to be a girl only at Ms. Georgulas’s home. When James is with his Father, he refuses girl’s clothes, says he is a boy to family and to friends, refuses to play with girls, and engages in typically male play.”
After Anne and Jeff filed for divorce, Jeff was purportedly not granted parental authority over psychological treatment of his children.
During one of the boys’ stays with Jeff when they were about three years old, he discovered that Anne had begun treating James as a girl.
Later, she started taking him for treatment at Children’s Medical Center Dallas through a “gender affirming care program” that began in 2015 called GENder Education and Care Interdisciplinary Support, or GENECIS — pronounced the same way as the first book in the Bible, which clearly defines the two distinct genders based on the God-created biological sexes of male and female.
While the website of the program says it only provides “gender affirming care” and “does not perform gender affirming surgery,” treatments and services listed include “hormone therapy” and “puberty suppression.”
Such treatments are usually taken prior to gender transition surgery.
Because he does not have authority over psychological treatment, Jeff has been unable to take James to see a different therapist for another opinion unless the therapist is approved by Anne.
Given this, Jeff says that he can only take James to see a psychologist who will affirm that the child wants to be a girl and encourage him to express that identity in the way he dresses, the toys he plays with, etc., whereas James wants to take a “wait and see” approach to determine if James himself identifies as a girl.
Conflict between Jeff and Anne over the gender of their child inevitably developed.
In the course of the legal battle, the court has prohibited Jeff from making any attempts to persuade James that he is a boy and from introducing or referring to James as a boy to people who only know him as a girl, such as teachers and school authorities.
This week will be the final court hearing for the case.
A jury has been selected today, and over the course of the next few days, they will hear from various “experts” called by both parties.
By the end of the week, the court and jury of Texans will determine if James will continue to be treated as a girl — possibly against even his own wishes — or if he will be treated as his biological sex.
Daniel Friend is a reporter for The Texan. While recently finishing his degree in Political Science from Azusa Pacific University, he also interned in the U.S. Senate and co-authored a book on C. S. Lewis’s science fiction trilogy. In his spare time, he might be reading up on Dostoevsky or attempting to write a novel.