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'Gender-affirming care is lifesaving': Texas mother, transgender son speak against Abbott, Paxton's gender-affirming directive

"Parents who are affirming are not child abusers. They are working with medical professionals to make the best decisions for their families," said Adair Apple.

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — A local mom is speaking out against Governor Greg Abbott and Attorney General Ken Paxton's push to investigate transition procedures for transgender teens as "child abuse." 

Adair Apple said she knows what other parents of transgender youth in Texas are feeling following the declaration by Abbott and Paxton.

"So heartbreaking to think that parents who love their children and are taking medically appropriate care are being accused of being child abusers when that is the furthest thing from the truth," Apple said. 

Her son Charlie came out as transgender five years ago. 

"We learned a lot and took us a long time to get to this point," Apple said. "We have such a happy child.  It's hard to explain to people this is not something that happens overnight."

Apple contends the directive to the Department of Family and Protective Services to investigate instances of gender affirming procedures as abuse is in itself dangerous for youth. 

"We're not a political pawn, we're people," Charlie said. "I'm a living breathing human being, and when you use me to advance an agenda, people like me die, that is the truth of it."

Charlie is now 18 years old and is a high school senior.  He is looking forward to departing for college with a scholarship.  

After coming out as transgender, Charlie did not take puberty blockers, however, he did take hormones. 

Charlie told 3News he also had surgery almost two years ago to have his breast tissue reduced.

"It's not just something that happens.  It's a whole process governed by lots of rules and there is already a lot of gatekeeping.  Parents who are affirming are not child abusers.  They are working with medical professionals to make the best decisions for their families," said Adair Apple.

"Gender affirming care is lifesaving.  It saved my life," Charlie said. "I wouldn't be the person I am today if I didn't get it. I'm scared to think about the people who won't be able to."

In response to the governors directive, the Department of Family and Protective Services said it will be following Texas law.  However, the department said there are not currently any pending investigations of child abuse involving procedures as mentioned in Paxton's opinion.

RELATED: DFPS says it will comply with Abbott, Paxton push to investigate transition procedures as child abuse

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