A Texas court has barred a father from teaching his 6-year-old son that he is a boy or from dressing him like a boy – even though the child chooses to be a boy around the dad.
The boy, named James, is stuck in a custody case between the father and the mother, who insists the boy is a transgender girl, The Federalist reported. A gender transition therapist diagnosed James with gender dysphoria, and the boy’s teachers at school treat him like a girl, calling him “Luna.” He uses the girl’s restroom.
But when the child is around his father, he refuses to be acknowledged as a girl, The Federalist reported. The mother wants to terminate the father’s parental rights.
“James violently refuses to wear girl’s clothes at my home,” the father told Walt Heyer, an expert on gender change who believes the boy has been misdiagnosed.
It’s possible James is a confused child who is caught in society’s debate over gender, Heyer wrote. It’s also possible the mother and the therapist are pressing him to be something he is not, Heyer added. The child, at a young age, said he wanted to be a girl. But those feelings apparently are not consistent.
“The criteria for a diagnosis of childhood gender dysphoria are that a child be persistent, consistent, and insistent about being the opposite sex,” Heyer wrote. “...Under the skilled eyes of the therapist, the child was presented two pieces of paper, one with the word ‘James’ and one with the word ‘Luna,’ and asked to pick the name he preferred. When the appointment only included his mother, James selected Luna, the name and gender he uses at his mother’s home and in his first-grade classroom. When the appointment was only with his father, however, James pointed to the boy name James, not the girl name.”
Supporters of James who believe he wants to live as a boy launched a website: SaveJames.com. The boy can begin receiving hormone treatment at age eight. Heyer calls it “chemical castration.”
Bill Lovell, pastor of Christ Church in Carrollton, Texas, believes James wants to be a boy.
“Based on the three occasions I've spent time with him, I’d say he acts and looks unmistakably like a healthy six-year-old boy,” Lovell wrote in a blog. “...But, sadly, James has gotten caught up in our culture's on-going and intensifying confusion about sex and gender.”
The father says the boy doesn’t want to be called “Luna” or be identified as a girl when he is away from his mom, Heyer said.
“Because the court prohibits dad from dressing James as a boy or from teaching him that he is a boy by sharing religious or science-based teachings on sexuality, dad presents James with male and female clothing options and James always chooses, even insists on, his boy clothes,” Heyer wrote.
James must be saved before it’s too late, Heyer wrote.
“The boy’s behavior offers a stinging rebuke of the diagnosis of gender dysphoria. This by all accounts is not a true or clinically correct diagnosis of gender dysphoria. Yet the therapist stands by her diagnosis and continues to keep ‘Luna’ on track to gender transition. A questionable diagnosis locks a vulnerable child into an alternate gender identity long before they can understand what is happening or where it might lead. It’s up to the adults to observe the child carefully, consider and question the grey areas, and ultimately guard innocent children against hasty diagnoses and conclusions about something so fundamental as their gender identity.”
Michael Foust is a freelance writer. Visit his blog, MichaelFoust.com.
Photo courtesy: Michal Parzuchowski/Unsplash
Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, The Leaf-Chronicle, the Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.