A prosecutor in Cincinnati, Ohio, is asking a judge to let a 17-year-old transgender boy live with his grandparents in order to escape his abusive, transphobic parents.
Assistant Prosecutor Don Clancy told the court yesterday that the teen “teeters on the edge of suicidal ideation” because of how he was treated by his parents.
The parents refused to accept their son, forcing him to spend six hours a day in a room listening to Bible verses. They did not allow him to change “appearance to a male look” or seek hormone replacement therapy.
When he started expressing suicidal thoughts in 2016, his parents took him to therapy at the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital. They later pulled him out, though, because they “still opposed to the transition issue” and the Children’s Hospital therapists had diagnosed the boy with gender dysphoria and were supportive of his transition.
Later that year, the boy emailed a suicide crisis hotline and said that his parents refused to take him to therapy “unless it was Christian-based.”
Court records show that the father told the teen that he should just kill himself.
“A reasonable parent,” Clancy said, “would never tell their own child to kill themselves because they were going to hell anyway.”
The boy moved in with his grandparents, who are supportive, and wants them to have custody so he can pursue appropriate medical treatment and because his parents are abusive.
“The child has stated, ‘I don’t want to go back home,'” the grandparents’ attorney said. “‘When I was home, dad chased me around the house. When I was home, I lived in terror in that home.'”
The parents spent most of the trial arguing that people cannot be transgender, even calling a witness who testified that “a small cabal of lobbyists and politicians invented the term ‘gender dysphoria’… and the treatment for it.”
Their attorney argued that the Children’s Hospital therapists were “doing little more than experimenting on children to further their careers or bolster their reputations,” and that the teen should not transition but instead get “therapy to address the underlying issues,” which sounds like a euphemism for conversion therapy.
The parents agree that the teen should stay with his grandparents, but they want to prevent him from getting hormone replacement therapy. The teen doesn’t want to wait another year and doesn’t want his parents to have that power over him.
“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,” the grandparents’ attorney said. “We don’t want to be planning a funeral.”