‘Nothing’s going to stop me defending my son,’ says dad of boy who’s set to undergo sex change - RT
Transgender therapy for children of all ages is gaining popularity at a cosmic speed all over the world. Are efforts to fix what nature apparently got wrong justified – especially at such a tender age – or are we putting our young in danger? We talked about that with Jeff Younger, the father of a boy assigned for sex change therapy, and sociologist Frank Furedi.
Sophie Shevardnadze: Jeffrey Younger is the father of the seven-year old James. Jeff, welcome to the show. It’s great to have you with us. Thanks for agreeing to talk to us.
Jeffrey Younger: Thank you. You're welcome. Thank you for having me.
SS: So, your story has sparked huge debate all around the world. At the very beginning, when your son James has told you that he was a girl, what was your reaction? I mean, were you taken aback, did you take it seriously?
JY: I took it very seriously, because I had some information when I was still living with Anne Georgulas, my ex-wife.. She had been putting him into timeouts, and saying things like the monster's only eat boys and some odd things like that. So, when I heard this I took it very seriously. He said: “Mommy tells me I'm a girl”. And I would ask him: “Do you look like a girl?” And he'd say: “No, but mommy tells me I'm a girl”. You know he's never presented himself as a girl to me ever. And in fact, with me, he violently rejects any female identity. He won't wear female clothes. He won't even wear boys’ brief underwear because he says it's too much like girls’ underwear.
SS:So he's basically living, like, bipolar life right now. He's a boy when he's with you, and he's forced to dress like a girl, or does he dress like a girl by his own will when he's with a mom?
JY: I believe he dresses by his own will when he's with his mother. I just don't think he believes that she'll love him if he's a boy. But he dresses as a boy at her house as well.
SS:Did she somehow tell him not to dress as a boy if he wants to dress as a boy?
JY: I've only been in public with him as a girl twice, and on both cases when I brought boys’ clothes, his mother was extremely disapproving and in one case pulled him out of my arms and I had to let him go, so that he wouldn't get hurt. So, he wouldn't be allowed to put on boys’ clothes. But I know that she disapproves it strongly.
SS: James told you that his mother puts him in dresses, puts hair clips and nail polish on him. My immediate reaction would be getting in touch with her and ask her why she would be doing this. Did you do that? What was Anne’s explanation?
JY: Well, first of all, I just wanted to verify it and I sent her a text and said: “Are you actually telling James that he's a girl?”, and she has just replied simply “Yes”, and then refused to talk to me about it. The next time, that it became an issue was when he had his sort of coming out party. She took him to his fifth birthday party in a dress. She just essentially wouldn't speak to me about it.
SS: But is it normal? Because you're just as much of a parent as she is. Is it normal that a “yes” is an answer, enough for your son to be heading towards a gender change?
JY: No, it's absolutely not normal. I'm a joint managing conservator in Texas, and that means that we share parental rights. But there was one key parental right that the court did not give me, and it was the right to consent to psychiatric and psychological treatment. And that's kind of how she has gotten around. She was saying that this is psychiatric treatment, so I have no rights regarding this issue with my son.
SS:James is being dressed in girls clothes, his name was changed to Luna, he attends girls bathroom at school… If everything goes ahead like James’ mother wants, your seven-year-old boy will be given puberty-blocking hormones and in a couple of years will undergo a sex-changing surgery. It's kind of hard to ask but how does it make you feel?
JY: I consider this to be child abuse and the sexual mutilation of children on an industrial scale. So, it makes me feel terrible. I can't believe that a mother would do this to her son. And I cannot believe that the state of Texas would allow it and sanction it. But we have clinics right here in Texas that do sex changes on children all the time.
SS: Your wife is accusing you of child abuse towards James. What exactly does she imply under “child abuse”?
JY: She's saying that it's psychologically abusive to James that I will not affirm his fake female identity. And she has gone to court and filed what's called a motion to modify. It's a thinly veiled parental termination request, saying that I have to go to a transgender education class. If I don't attend the class or achieve satisfactory marks, then I could be jailed for contempt. I can be jailed if I use male pronouns for James or show him in public as a boy or if I cut his hair in a boy's hairstyle. If I d
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