Transgender boy fighting for the right to transition before college

A 17-year-old Hamilton County boy who wants to begin college with the world recognizing him as just that -- a boy -- ...

Posted: Jan 28, 2018 2:48 PM
Updated: Jan 28, 2018 2:48 PM

A 17-year-old Hamilton County boy who wants to begin college with the world recognizing him as just that -- a boy -- is fighting in court for the right to live away from his parents, who refuse to accept that their child is transgender.

On one side of the battle are the boy's grandparents, with whom he currently lives and who have supported his gender transition; on the other are his parents, who lawyers say insisted he receive Christian therapy rather than be allowed to pursue hormone replacement therapy (HRT) or sex reassignment.

"The parents in this case do not desire to parent their child," said Donald Clancy of the Department of Jobs and Family Services. "They merely have a desire to parent a child who, in reality, no longer exists."

Attorney Karen Brinkman, who represents the boy's parents, said they believe his expression is a phase -- "a place to park (the child's) anxiety" -- and withholding treatment is a protective measure to prevent long-term damage.

"The belief that hormone therapy or sex reassignment therapy would help patients who have gender dysphoria is based on hope, not science," she said.

In fact, multiple recent studies of long-term health outcomes for transgender men and women report that such patients experience "high degrees of well-being and good social integration" when allowed to receive the above-mentioned treatments.

In one study, researchers wrote that, compared to patients who had not received HRT or sex reassignment surgery, "participants showed significantly fewer psychological problems and interpersonal difficulties as well as a strongly increased life satisfaction."

Doctors and therapists who examined the boy have testified that his mental and physical health have improved since he moved in with his grandparents, according to Paul Hunt of ProKids.

"The child has stated, 'I don't want to go back home,'" the grandparents' attorney, Jeffrey Cutcher, said. "'When I was home, dad chased me around the house. When I was home, I lived in terror in that home.'"

The longer the custody battle lasts, Cutcher said Friday, the harder it will be for the boy to introduce himself the way he wants to be seen.

"What we want to in the coming months around May is plan for a high school graduation, throughout the summer and fall plan for an entrance into college," he said. "We don't want to be planning a funeral."

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 319948

Reported Deaths: 7371
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto22285267
Hinds20719421
Harrison18431317
Rankin13901282
Jackson13718248
Madison10263224
Lee10059176
Jones8467167
Forrest7832153
Lauderdale7261242
Lowndes6517150
Lamar635188
Lafayette6313121
Washington5425137
Bolivar4841133
Panola4670110
Oktibbeha466198
Pearl River4605147
Marshall4574105
Warren4440121
Pontotoc425873
Monroe4157135
Union415777
Neshoba4063179
Lincoln4008112
Hancock386987
Leflore3515125
Tate342486
Sunflower339491
Pike3371111
Alcorn327272
Scott320374
Yazoo314171
Adams308086
Itawamba305178
Copiah299966
Coahoma298784
Simpson298589
Tippah291968
Prentiss284161
Leake272074
Marion271280
Covington267283
Wayne264642
Grenada264087
George252251
Newton248663
Tishomingo231868
Winston230181
Jasper222148
Attala215073
Chickasaw210559
Holmes190474
Stone188433
Clay187954
Tallahatchie180041
Clarke178980
Calhoun174132
Yalobusha167840
Smith164134
Walthall135347
Greene131834
Lawrence131124
Montgomery128643
Noxubee128034
Perry127238
Amite126242
Carroll122330
Webster115032
Jefferson Davis108234
Tunica108127
Claiborne103130
Benton102325
Humphreys97533
Kemper96629
Franklin85023
Quitman82216
Choctaw79118
Wilkinson69632
Jefferson66228
Sharkey50917
Issaquena1696
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 548657

Reported Deaths: 11306
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson810031566
Mobile42105831
Madison35690525
Tuscaloosa26173458
Shelby25607254
Montgomery25081614
Baldwin21868314
Lee16278176
Calhoun14719327
Morgan14629285
Etowah14175364
Marshall12453230
Houston10781287
Elmore10293214
Limestone10179157
St. Clair10162251
Cullman9952201
Lauderdale9603250
DeKalb8972190
Talladega8460184
Walker7338280
Autauga7241113
Blount6945139
Jackson6932113
Colbert6413140
Coffee5635127
Dale4928116
Russell454841
Chilton4476116
Franklin431382
Covington4275122
Tallapoosa4138155
Escambia401680
Chambers3728124
Dallas3607158
Clarke353061
Marion3240107
Pike314378
Lawrence3133100
Winston283472
Bibb268564
Geneva257981
Marengo250565
Pickens236962
Barbour234559
Hale227278
Butler224271
Fayette218862
Henry194543
Randolph187544
Cherokee187345
Monroe180041
Washington170539
Macon163051
Clay160059
Crenshaw155957
Cleburne153444
Lamar146837
Lowndes142254
Wilcox126930
Bullock124342
Conecuh113630
Coosa111729
Perry108626
Sumter105732
Greene93634
Choctaw62125
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