Protecting Our Community: A Response to Governor Abbott’s Recent Letter

people standing and holding blue and white banner

The Gracious Mind Team complies with the current legal documents surrounding confidentiality, mandated reporting, and ensuring we take steps to reduce child abuse. We want to be very clear that the recent letter from Governor Abbott does not have legal grounds. His letter is not an Executive Order that makes any changes to existing laws, and thus our child abuse reporting policies will remain what they have been. These instances include reporting when we believe physical/sexual/emotional abuse is occurring.

We do not and have never considered gender affirming care to be abuse, and we will not be reporting parents who seek gender affirming care in collaboration with their minor child in any instance at any time for any reason.

Every medical body (examples provided below) supports gender affirming care and considers it medically necessary for children to maintain physical, emotional, and social health.

Thus far, the only thing that we at TGM consider to be abusive related to the letter from Governor Abbot is the letter itself, which continues to perpetuate ongoing systemic trauma and dehumanization for the trans community.  

To be clear, we at The Gracious Mind believe that: 

  • A governor’s opinion is not a legal mandate
  • Gender-affirming care is not abuse. We will not report it to anyone.
  • Reporting people who seek care is abusive of kids, families, and protective systems
  • Calling this “abuse” deprives resources and support from children who actually do experience abuse
  • Our ethical mandate requires us to protect trans kids
  • Abuse: physical harm, neglect, emotional violence, deprivation of resources, hate crimes
  • Not abuse: supporting trans kids

Dangers of non-affirming care:

To briefly summarize, the dangers posited when non-affirming care is provided can produce the following experiences in individuals: 

  • Difficulty with relationships
  • Difficulty with employment
  • Can affect all life areas 
  • Increased risk of self-harm / risk-taking behavior
  • Higher rates of depression and anxiety
  • Lower academic performance


The following references and aforementioned medical bodies provide greater evidence and resources that support affirming care in the mental health and greater medical environments. 

Additional resources created by The Gracious Mind for Trans folx located here.

Additional references are summarized in the following resources:

WPATH standards*

  • TASB guidelines, transgender students, dress and grooming codes—helpful for trans an nonbinary kids—almost every one of Texas 1029 school districts is a member of TASB, thus—these apply.

Legal Issues Related to Transgender Students October 2021

Student’s rights toolkit – ACLU, Lambda, TENT, EQ TX:

Texas Supreme Court Children’s Commission – information on best practice child welfare

Department of Education – guidance for transgender students

For more information about The Gracious Mind, or to connect with a team member, contact us today using the included button below.