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Misgendering trans kids can constitute child abuse, Canadian court rules

British journalist Louis Theroux (right) met with transgender children and their families for a 2015 documentary (Photo: Tumblr)

In a landmark ruling, a Canadian court has ruled in favor of a teenager who wants to undergo gender affirmation treatment.

The boy’s father had objected to hormone therapy, arguing the 14-year-old was not mature enough to make the decision.

Experts said the landmark ruling affords trans kids more legal rights and protections, according to The Star Vancouver.

The British Columbia Supreme Court ruling last month will impact the province’s family law.

Parents will need to respect their child’s chosen gender, pronouns, and name.

Trans rights lawyer Adrienne Smith told The Star misgendering could now constitute emotional abuse. What’s more, parents could, therefore, be reported to authorities.

‘Misgendering a person, using the incorrect name for them and trying to persuade them not to undertake gender-affirming care are forms of family violence, and that’s really important,’ Smith said.

‘Young trans people can take comfort that the way that they are often misgendered and deadnamed is a human rights violation and could rise to the level of being family violence.’

Health decision

The Star reports that the ruling suggests transitioning is a health decision. It is not a political or moral one that a parent can stop.

The boy, who The Star does not name, has lived his true gender since he was 11.

He planned to start hormone therapy in the summer of last year.

But, his father objected and took him to court.

With the support of his mother, medical professionals, teachers, school district, and the Ministry of Education, he won.

One doctor testified that the son could attempt suicide if doctors delayed treatment, according to The Star.

The father, however, has appealed the decision.

‘He just believes that his child needs some protection at this point, just too young to make such a decision’, the father’s lawyer told the Star.

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Author: Rik Glauert