Written by Hudson Crozier
What’s happening: A Virginia Republican introduced legislation that would bar courts from stripping custody from parents who refuse to raise their child as transgender. It would also require schools to tell parents if their child adopts a new gender identity.
Why it matters: Parents across the country have lost custody of their children because judges interpret their rejection of transgenderism as a form of abuse or neglect. Many school districts also conceal information from parents on their child’s gender identity. The Virginia bill, nicknamed “Sage’s Law,” was inspired by the local story of a female sex trafficking victim affected by such decisions.
It started in school: When Sage began identifying as a boy at 14, school officials hid it from her parents, even as she suffered assaults in the boys’ bathroom. Her curiosity about gender identity led her to online circles with adults who abducted and trafficked her for sex.
Kept from her parents: Once authorities found Sage, a Virginia court wouldn’t return her to her parents because they didn’t accept her as a boy. She was then placed in the male section of a juvenile facility, where boys sexually assaulted her. After she escaped, police rescued her from another predator who raped and physically abused her. She was eventually returned to her parents after deciding she didn’t want to be a boy anymore.