When Kids Cross Over: Trans Youth in the Juvenile and Family Court Systems
I preside over the crossover docket in Austin, Texas. This docket, designed for children who are dually involved in the juvenile justice system and child welfare (or dependency) system at the same time, is fraught with stories of abandonment, sex trafficking of minors, and trauma of all kinds. Children on this docket must grapple with the pain of feeling let down by their parents while finding the strength to take responsibility for their own criminal actions and move forward. While these tasks alone might seem insurmountable for most young people, two amazing young ladies on this docket have faced an added challenge on this journey — the difficulty of struggling with their gender identity.