Having trouble viewing? Watch this video on texastribune.org.
Ess Welsh spent her entire life in Texas. It’s where she fell in love with marching band, where she found a community of fellow Dungeons and Dragons players, and where she faced the looming threat of her family being investigated for child abuse.
In February, Gov. Greg Abbott told the Texas Department of Family Protective and Services to investigate families providing their transgender children with gender-affirming care. The directive is still in legal limbo.
For the Welsh family, leaving Texas means facing huge financial risks, severing community ties, and breaking bonds with trusted therapists and care providers. However, staying carries the threat of investigations, family separation and a loss of the crucial gender-affirming medical care that leading medical organizations have deemed medically necessary.
The Welsh family was just one of many grappling with this difficult decision.
The full program is now LIVE for the 2022 The Texas Tribune Festival, happening Sept. 22-24 in Austin. Explore the schedule of 100+ mind-expanding conversations coming to TribFest, including the inside track on the 2022 elections and the 2023 legislative session, the state of public and higher ed at this stage in the pandemic, why Texas suburbs are booming, why broadband access matters, the legacy of slavery, what really happened in Uvalde and so much more. See the program.
This article originally appeared in The Texas Tribune at https://www.texastribune.org/2022/08/22/family-with-transgender-daughter-flees-texas/.
The Texas Tribune is a member-supported, nonpartisan newsroom informing and engaging Texans on state politics and policy. Learn more at texastribune.org.