Recent statements by Governor Abbott and Attorney General Ken Paxton have sought to demonize parents who provide affirming and supportive medical care for their transgender children. Medical intervention that conforms to the prevailing standards of care and best practices for transgender health are being labeled as “child abuse,” and Governor Abbot has suggested a mandatory reporting role for licensed professionals, including teachers, doctors, and nurses.
In response to these statements, Bishop Andy Doyle of the Diocese of Texas communicated to the clergy of the diocese that the governor’s statement “seeks to have our clergy and our teachers become reporters. There is no requirement for anyone to report the existence of trans kids or their parents in one of our Episcopal Churches or schools. The statement has no force of law. ALL people are welcome in churches of the Episcopal Diocese of Texas without fear – we offer only love.”
As a seminary community we stand in solidarity with transgender people of all ages, and we give our support to parents who seek to provide thoughtful medical and mental health care to their transgender children. Determining the proper means of social and medical support for a young person who is wrestling with their gender identity requires courage and vulnerability on the part of parents. Transgender children are not all the same and do not all need the same guidance or intervention. Parents rely on the support of family, friends, and faith communities to make wise and grace-filled discernments for the sake of their children’s flourishing. We seek to be a seminary that prepares our students to accompany individuals and families on this path with love and generosity.