10-year-old transgender girl speaks to state Senators about attempt to criminalize medical transitions in minors

10-year-old transgender girl speaks out against bill that could send parents to prison for providing gender-affirming care

HOUSTON – A 10-year-old Houston girl traveled to Austin this week to tell the Senate committee on state affairs why she believes a proposed bill should be left off the Texas law books.

“You shouldn’t be passing these bills because it’s not helping anybody,” said Maya Stanton, a transgender girl.

SB 1646 would make it against the law for parents to allow their children to medically transition.

It not only would make surgical procedures a crime, but also all medical interventions.

“If they weren’t supporting me, I wouldn’t be a girl. I would just be a boy, and I would be very sad,” Stanton said while speaking of her parents.

Stanton was assumed to be a boy at birth, but as early as preschool, she began identifying as a girl. Maya socially transitioned by the age of five.

“We are allowing her to express herself, which is her gender identity, to change the pronouns, to grow her hair long, and to dress in an outward way that identifies her as a female with her own style,” said Maya’s Mom Lisa Stanton.

Maya and her parents have not decided if she will medically transition in the coming years, but if SB 1646 passes, she would not have access to the puberty blockers, which would give her more time to decide if she wants hormones.

Sponsors of the bill believe it will protect children and allow them to reach the age of 18 without making any medical changes to their bodies. Only at 18, would they be allowed to give informed consent for a medical procedure.

Opponents of the bill said this is despite the fact that parents and adolescents are able to give informed consent about other medical procedures.

“This issue is very personal, very sensitive and extremely complicated,” said SB 1646 sponsor Texas State Senator Charles Perry during a senate committee on state affairs. “This bill simply protects or is targeted to protect those that have not reached the maturity to understand what is being proposed nor the impact on them.”

Earlier this week, Maya and her mother traveled to Austin to testify in front of committee members.

“I’m not going to just stand there and be like, ‘Oh I’m not going to help other people. I will help because sometimes people aren’t brave enough to help, so I have to come in and help,’” said Maya.

Maya’s mother, who is raising Maya and Maya’s twin brother with their Dad, said Maya was anxious and depressed before she socially transitioned.

“She spoke about suicidal ideation and was in a severe depression, had tremendous anxiety, and once we allowed her to socially transition and present as a female, all of that went away. She’s outgoing, she’s thriving,” said Stanton.

If this bill were to pass, Maya’s mother said her family would move out of Texas.

“I’m not going to allow the place that I live to determine what choices I can make for my child,” she said.

If passed, the bill would go into effect on Sept. 1.