Democrats on a Texas House committee walked out of the room during a hearing this week, missing testimony from a detransitioner on the harmful effects of gender mutilation procedures on minors.
The Texas House Committee on the Judiciary & Civil Jurisprudence heard public testimony on a measure that would extend the statute of limitations for minors who have undergone “gender transition” procedures.
According to State Rep. Shelby Slawson (R-Stephenville), author of House Bill 888, “HB 888 will provide minors an extension of the statute of limitations until they’re 25 years old, for a claim based in malpractice for providing a puberty blocking drug, or cross sex hormones, or performing surgery on a child when the purpose is gender transitioning or reassignment.”
Slawson says minors cannot vote, drink, use tobacco, or enter contracts until they are 18, and therefore cannot consent to using these drugs and undergoing life-altering procedures.
After a slew of testimony from LBGT activists, Soren Aldaco—a Texan who began transitioning as a minor and detransitioned as an adult—began her testimony.
However, just prior to her testimony, Democrat State Rep. Julie Johnson (D-Farmers Branch) and State Rep. Lulu Flores (D-Austin) left the room. State Rep. Joe Moody (D-El Paso) had already left the room during a prior testimony on HB 888 and State Rep. Yvonne Davis (D-Dallas) was absent.
“As someone who experiences gender dysphoria, and has found peace outside of medicalization, I believe that children deserve better than plastic surgery and hormones,” said Aldaco, explaining what happened to her:
I began social transitioning at age 11. I started testosterone and estrogen blockers at age 17. And by age 19, I had undergone a double mastectomy. Massive complications did not elude me however. And I was gaslit, then ghosted, by my medical providers after demonstrating weeks of concern. Emotionally vulnerable and with zero pain meds, I spent eight hours in an ER bed alone before they cut my scars back open, sewed drains in and aggressively expressed over three cups of blood from my raw chest cavity.
“This got me thinking, why do we uphold material solutions as the end all–be all treatment for distress that’s mostly mental? What can I do to conquer this beast while accepting that my greatest fear––my female body––was just as much a part of me?” Aldaco asked.
Less than six months later, Aldaco began detransitioning and addressing the mental beast of gender dysphoria, which she called a “process of reclamation.”
“Our handling of gender dysphoria is not an exception to this nation’s mental health crisis,” said Aldaco. “In fact, the gender-affirming care I experienced in adolescence was an elaborate placebo.”
“Kids need affirmation––that much is true, but how we affirm them matters. … Just know that right now, ‘best practice’ is code for ‘only practice,’ and accountability for a medical system that prioritizes ease and conformity over health is the first step towards developing care that actually, systematically, works,” said Aldaco.
“And by the way, I’m from Texas, born in Texas, and this is happening in Texas. I also couldn’t sue because my statute of limitations ran out.”
That provider that treated me and did my double mastectomy, he came to Texas because of the laws here. He had eight malpractice suits—and don’t quote me on that [exact number]—but like an absurd amount in California. And he knew that here, he could get away with it in Texas. And he has.
Aldaco recommended that the Legislature also address access and funding for “mindfulness-based therapy programs” to help kids experiencing gender dysphoria.
Committee Chairman Jeff Leach (R-Plano) thanked Aldaco for testifying and asked that she submit some written testimony for the committee for him to personally deliver to the committee members who had left the room.
“Because before your testimony, their position was that this never happens in Texas,” said Leach. “Your testimony proves that [it does], and your testimony is exactly why we need this bill.”
The Republican Party of Texas has made banning gender mutilation procedures for minors a legislative priority for the 88th Legislative Session.
Legislation banning such procedures is currently moving through the legislative process, with the Senate approving a bill this week and a House companion bill left pending in committee.