A transgender teen is suing her Christian parents for allegedly forcing her to participate in "Christian-based" therapy instead of allowing her to transition from a female into a male.
Today, a Hamilton County judge will decide whether a 16-year-old girl whose parents, according to court documents, want faith-based therapy for her can receive hormone treatment at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati.com reports.
Court documents posit that the girl's parents "refuse to acknowledge her transgender identity, won't let her receive treatment at Children's Hospital, and haven't let her change her change her appearance to look like a man."
The case stems from November 2016, when the teen emailed a crisis hotline claiming that one of her parents had told her to kill herself and made her listen to Bible passages for more than six hours.
According to the complaint, the teen was receiving therapy from Children's Hospital until the parents decided they wanted their child to receive counseling from a Christian therapist. The therapy later resumed due to the teen's anxiety and depression, but her parents were "still opposed to the transition issue," the documents say.
However, the parent's attorney, Karen Brinkman, told reporters that multiple statements in the teen's complaints are false.
Early this year, Hamilton County Job and Family Services filed a complaint, seeking temporary custody of the teen. That was granted, and she was placed with her grandparents. Now, county social workers are asking a visiting judge, Sylvia Hendon, to order treatment for the teen at Children's Hospital.
According to the hospital website, the Transgender Health Clinic at Cincinnati Children's "provides an accepting atmosphere and services for patients 5-24 years old," including "puberty blockers, gender-affirming hormones, assistance navigating transition needs," and more.
Transgender children and teens have been the focus of considerable media attention in recent years and have seen an increased visibility in film and television. Transgender teen Jazz Jennings stars in the TLC show "I am Jazz," and the Netflix sci-fi series The OA stars a 14-year-old transgender teen who Bustle.com praised as fitting "seamlessly into the story arc without making his transition a narrative focus."
However, the American College of Pediatricians last year warned that encouraging children to accept transgenderism as normal is child abuse, as it is classified as a mental illness.
"No one is born with an awareness of themselves as male or female; this awareness develops over time and, like all developmental processes, may be derailed by a child's subjective perceptions, relationships, and adverse experiences from infancy forward. People who identify as 'feeling like the opposite sex' or 'somewhere in between' do not comprise a third sex. They remain biological men or biological women," the organization said.
"When an otherwise healthy biological boy believes he is a girl, or an otherwise healthy biological girl believes she is a boy, an objective psychological problem exists that lies in the mind not the body, and it should be treated as such. These children suffer from gender dysphoria. Gender dysphoria, formerly listed as gender identity disorder, is a recognized mental disorder in the most recent edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of the American Psychiatric Association. The psychodynamic and social learning theories of GD/GID have never been disproved," it added.