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PFLAG v. Abbott FAQ

What is this case about?

The lawsuit names Texas Governor Greg Abbott, who issued a February directive stating that health care that is medically necessary for treating gender dysphoria should be considered a form of child abuse. The suit also names Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) Commissioner Jaime Masters and DFPS as defendants, who followed Abbott’s directive and issued a new rule to investigate medically necessary health care for transgender youth across Texas.

The lawsuit was filed by the American Civil Liberties Union Jon L. Stryker and Slobodan Randjelović LGBTQ & HIV Project, the ACLU Women’s Rights Project, the ACLU of Texas, Lambda Legal, and the law firm of Baker Botts LLP. It was filed after the Supreme Court of Texas in Doe v. Abbott ruled in May 2022 that the directive could not be enforced against the plaintiffs in that case.

Who are the plaintiffs?

PFLAG National joined this case to seek relief for its 17 chapters and members across the state. PFLAG provides confidential peer support, education, and advocacy to LGBTQIA+ people, their parents and families, and allies. With a nationwide network of hundreds of chapters, PFLAG National works with families, schools, and communities to build safety and support for transgender youth.

Also party to the suit are three Texas families with transgender teens: Mirabel Voe and her 16-year-old transgender son, Wanda Roe and her 16-year-old transgender son, and Amber and Adam Briggle and their 14-year-old transgender son. Each of these families has been unlawfully investigated by DFPS based solely on the allegation that their children were receiving care for the treatment of gender dysphoria.

What has been the timeline for this case to date?

On July 8, 2022, the Travis County District Court granted a temporary injunction blocking DFPS and the Commissioner from continuing to investigate the Voe and Roe families. And on September 16, 2022, the same court granted a temporary injunction on behalf of PFLAG and the Briggles blocking DFPS and the Commissioner from “investigating members of PFLAG, including but not limited to Plaintiff Families, for possible child abuse or neglect solely based on allegations that they have a minor child who is gender transitioning or alleged to be receiving or being prescribed medical treatment for gender dysphoria.” These injunctions are currently in effect, though the state is appealing them.

Why is PFLAG the plaintiff in this case?

PFLAG is suing to demand that the court block state investigations of all PFLAG families in Texas who are supporting their transgender children with medically necessary care.

What does it mean to be a member of PFLAG National?

PFLAG supports families, educates allies, and advocates for equality through a vast network of supporters, members, and chapters across the country, including 17 chapters in Texas. People who join PFLAG enjoy the community of participating in local meetings and events, educational opportunities, Pride celebrations, workshops, panels, family programming and so much more. PFLAG members have joined and paid dues to their local PFLAG chapter and directly to PFLAG National.

If I am a parent of a trans kid in Texas and a member of my local PFLAG chapter, is my family covered by this case?

Yes. PFLAG is asking the court to stop DFPS from investigating families simply for providing their children with medically necessary care. All dues-paying members of PFLAG in Texas are considered party to this case. All families in Texas that include transgender loved ones can join PFLAG. You can learn more about becoming a member of PFLAG at PFLAG.org/Membership.

What if my family is currently being investigated by DFPS?

This guidance can also be found here.

If you or someone you know is impacted or affected by this:

  • Document what is happening and try to get as much information as possible.
  • Remember that…
    • You and your family have a right to privacy.
    • You do not have to disclose whether your child is transgender.
    • You do not have to disclose any private medical information to anyone.
    • You have a right to an attorney.
  • Do not allow a DFPS investigator into your home.
  • Do not sign any document asking you to release any of you or your child’s private records (medical or otherwise) without consulting with an attorney.
  • Advise your child not to talk to DFPS without your presence or an attorney.

If you or anyone you know is impacted by this order or an investigation or report of child abuse for medically necessary health care for transgender youth, contact help right away:

Stay up-to-date on any new developments at TxTransKids.org. For direct support, visit TXTransKids.org/help.

What are ways I can share my story as the parent of a trans kid in Texas?

The possibility of investigation by publicly sharing your story as a transgender youth, their parent, caregiver, or impacted health professional is real. However, your story can make a direct impact by having your testimony read by a volunteer ally at the DFPS hearing on June 10, 2022. Visit TxTransKids.org/actions_events for all the details.

Ways to participate:

  • Share Your Story: If you are a transgender youth, a parent or guardian of a transgender youth, or an impacted professional who works with transgender youth (healthcare providers, teachers) we invite you to share your testimony for a volunteer to read. Sign up here to share your story!
  • Text the word Texas to 472-472 to call Greg Abbott and remind him that providing children life-saving, medically necessary healthcare is parenting at its best. Transgender youth deserve loving and affirming homes.
  • Send a message to DFPS urging them to listen to the consensus of every credible medical association, and protect transgender kids and parental rights.
  • Use the hashtag #ProtectTransKids on social media
Pieces of Me film poster, with photos of Joslyn DeFreece from current and growing up.

New Short Film "Pieces of Me"

Our newest film "Pieces of Me" is out now in honor of Transgender Day of Visibility!
Written, directed, and produced by Nick Oceano-Armendariz—the film centers on the life of New York-based artist and transgender activist Joslyn DeFreece.

Watch the film

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