It’s been a heartbreaking week for parents of transgender children, with Texas Governor Greg Abbott instructing Texas’ protective services to investigate parents who allow their children to get gender-affirming medical care. In a letter on Tuesday to the state’s Department of Family and Protective Services, the politician asked licensed professionals—including teachers, nurses and doctors—and members of the general public to report any parents of minors who are getting “elective procedures for gender transitioning.” He added that state law “provides criminal penalties for failure to report such child abuse.”
Trans and human rights groups have condemned Abbott's letter and major medical organizations—including the American Medical Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Psychological Association—say that gender-affirming care is medically necessary for transgender youth and is backed by decades of research.
And while it is unclear if any state agencies will actually follow Abbott’s directive, many parents are feeling understandably anxious right now. One thing that may help is to create a “safe folder.”
Activist and parent Amanda Briggle recently posted the following advice to fellow parents of transgender children on Twitter: “To parents of trans kids across the country, if I can recommend one thing to work on today (besides hugging your babies harder than ever) it's to start building a ‘safe folder’.”