Andy Cohen tears into ‘bully’ Texas governor over attack on trans kids in emotional speech

Andy Cohen blasts Greg Abbott as a 'bully' on Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen

Television personality Andy Cohen delivered an emotional rebuke of Texas governor Greg Abbott for demanding state agencies to treat healthcare for trans youth as “child abuse”.

To the Watch What Happens Live With Andy Cohen host, the Republican incumbent is a “bully” and the “Jackhole of the Day” for “picking on vulnerable children” by denying them life-saving treatments.

Ahead of the November gubernatorial election, where Abbott will against Democratic candidate Beto O’Rourke, Cohen urged Texans to hit the ballot box “like your life depends on it”.

At the very end of Tuesday’s (1 March) episode of Bravo’s late-night talk show, Cohen said: “You might have heard that the governor recently ordered that parents of transgender children who give their kids gender-affirming care should be investigated for child abuse.

Andy Cohen: Trans youth ‘belong, and I stand with you’

“You heard that correctly,” he said, adding that the state’s Department of Family and Protective Services has already begun investigating families.

“His order goes against the American Medical Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics and everyone who knows that gender-affirming care reduces emotional distress and the risk of suicide in kids who identify as transgender,” he said.

“I can’t believe I have to say this, but there is nothing pro-family about denying children medical care and threatening to rip them from their homes and families.”

Addressing all trans and non-binary youth in Texas, Cohen said: “You belong and I stand with you.”

But to Abbott, Cohen sounded a slightly different tone: “Picking on vulnerable children in an election year does not make you a leader, it makes you a bully.”

Concluding the segment, Cohen said to all Texans: “The best way to stand up to this bully is to vote like your life depends on it. Because for a lot of transgender kids in Texas, it does.”

In a sharp departure from Abbott’s hardline anti-trans policies, O’Rourke has praised “amazing” trans kids. A message that Democratic voters seem to agree with, who won the party’s nomination for governor on Tuesday.

“You belong right here in Texas,” he said last month, “and I’ll fight for you to live freely as yourself and free from discrimination.”

Abbott, following a judgement by attorney general Ken Paxton, ordered state officials last week to “conduct prompt and thorough investigations of any reported instances of Texas children being subjected to abusive gender-transitioning procedures”.

In his declaration, Abbott said educators, healthcare providers, children services professionals and “members of the general public” could face criminal penalties for “failing to report such child abuse” to state authorities.

In other words, he called on people to report parents and guardians of trans youth receiving gender-affirming healthcare to the authorities.

And these investigations have already begun. On Tuesday, the American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit against Abbott and the state’s Department of Family and Protective Services.

In the suit, the organisation detailed how officials have begun scrutinising a family of a 16-year-old trans girl whose mother works for the department. The girl, identified only as Mary Doe, has seen her mother, labelled as Jane Doe, be placed on administrative leave as a result.

“We are terrified for Mary’s health and well-being, and for our family,” wrote the employee in a declaration filed with the suit, in which her husband is identified as John Doe.

“I feel betrayed by my state and the agency for whom I work.”
“Not providing Mary with the medically necessary health care that she needs,” Jane added, “is not an option for us.”