In an important ruling for trans rights, a 14-year-old transgender boy has won his court case and can proceed with hormone replacement therapy without delay, in spite of his father’s objections.
The boy, identified as “A.B.” in court records, has been embroiled within a battle in British Columbia between rights over his own body and those of his parents.
The boy, with the support of his mother, was planning to begin hormone injections last summer, but his father objected, saying he needed more time to explore the consequences of testosterone.
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A.B. has identified as a male since age 11 and presents as male. Caregivers have determined previously that A.B. was a good candidate for treatment, referring him to the B.C. Children’s Hospital in 2018.
The court determined that A.B. was well-informed about the benefits and risks of the treatment and that withholding treatment could be more detrimental to his continued well-being.
“The totality of the evidence regarding A.B.’s medical needs… leads me to conclude that his hormone treatment should not be delayed further,” wrote B.C. Supreme Court Justice Gregory Bowden in his decision.
Bowden added, “While A.B.’s father does not consent to the treatment, I am satisfied that A.B.’s consent is sufficient for the treatment to proceed.”
A.B.’s father disagrees with the decision, and plans to appeal.
“The father is disappointed. He intends to appeal,” said the father’s lawyer, Herb Dunton, to the National Post.
“He believes his child does not understand the risks and consequences of the gender transition treatment and the harm that can come to the child. The father does not believe his case for the protection of the child was heard by the B.C. Supreme Court.”
The father had sought to block any treatment, arguing that A.B. lacked enough information, a move that the judge questioned in his written decision.
“Some evidence suggests that he has been delaying proceedings as a way of preventing his son from obtaining the gender transition treatment that he seeks,” Bowden said of the father.
As well as allowing A.B. to begin treatment, the ruling requires any future proceedings to refer to the boy as male and to use his chosen name. He can also change his legal name without parental consent.
What’s more, the agreement states that any attempts from here on out to persuade A.B. to halt treatment or which using the wrong name or pronouns for A.B. “shall be considered to be family violence” under the Family Law Act.
Lawyers for the boy and his mother did not offer any comment on the ruling.