The new Miss USA discusses Texas’ gender-affirming care investigations

  • New Miss USA R’Bonney Gabriel is speaking out about the laws in her home state of Texas.
  • Parents in the state who provide gender-affirming care to their transgender children can be investigated.
  • Gabriel believes that gender-affirming care for transgender youth should be decided by parents.

She’s only been Miss USA for a few days, but R’Bonney Gabriel was happy to chat with Insider about politics as her reign began.

And Gabrielle, who represented Texas during Monday’s pageant, touched on issues that specifically affect her home state.

In February, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signed an authorization directing the state’s Department of Family and Protective Services to investigate and prosecute parents of transgender youth if they provide their child with gender-affirming care. The move came after Republican Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton issued an official opinion declaring that providing sex-affirming medical treatments such as puberty blockers and sex-reassignment surgery to young people constitutes “child abuse” under state law .

Gabrielle told Insider she believes that when it comes to young people, gender-affirming care should not be decided by the government.

Miss Texas R'Bonney Gabriel during Miss USA 2022

Gabrielle during the Miss USA 2022 pageant in Reno, Nevada.

Fine Levin

“I think that really starts at home with the parents,” Gabriel said. “I don’t think the government should necessarily be as involved in this as the parents who are making these decisions for their child.”

“Trans hatred is never appropriate at any time, in any place,” he added. “I really think we just need to have conversations. That’s really the heart of the issue — discriminating against someone because they’re different from us.”

In May, the Texas Supreme Court found that Abbott lacked the authority to order searches of parents of transgender youth — but also reversed an order that barred the state from conducting those searches in the first place.

And Republicans across the US are trying to follow Abbott’s lead. Just this week, GOP lawmakers ruled that Oklahoma Children’s Hospital would receive federal pandemic relief funds only if it ends gender-affirming care, and 60 Tennessee House Republicans signed a letter demanding the University Vanderbilt to stop providing gender confirmation surgeries. to transgender youth.

Miss USA R'Bonney Gabriel

Gabriel is a 28-year-old fashion designer.

Grant Photo

Meanwhile, on Tuesday, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Medical Association and the Children’s Hospital Association called on Attorney General Merrick Garland to investigate threats against children’s hospitals and doctors who provide gender-affirming health care.

The associations said children’s hospitals across the country had to significantly increase security, and some providers now need round-the-clock protection.

Gabriel also spoke out against Texas’ abortion law, which bans abortion in all circumstances except to save the life of the mother. Gabriel told Insider that “as a woman and as a Texan, it was extremely disappointing” to see the new ban go into effect after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in June.

“At the end of the day, I would like a woman to be able to make that decision,” Gabriel said. “Because in Texas I know that even if it’s rape or incest, abortion is still illegal — and I disagree with that.”

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