Anne Georgulas is a Texas pediatrician who went to court so her 7-year-old child James Younger could be identified as a girl named “Luna” despite the youth being born biologically a boy. The mother claims the child is transgender.
The case has become embroiled in the political debate due in part to a concerted effort by the child’s father, Jeff Younger, to gain attention to the case. He vehemently disagrees with treating James as a girl.
A jury in Dallas, Texas previously ruled that the father should not have sole decision-making authority over the child. However, on October 24, Judge Kim Cooks decided that both parents should have a “joint managing conservatorship,” with both having “a say in his medical treatment,” The Texan reported.
According to Life Site, the judge also placed a gag order on both parents.
The mother says James is transgender and has gender dysphoria and presented experts in court who testified as such; the father says there should be a wait-and-see approach.
The story has been widely circulated in conservative circles, with the president’s son, Donald Trump Jr., writing on Twitter: “This is child abuse. People need to start to stand up against this bullsh*t. Enough is enough.” Texas Governor Greg Abbott wrote on Twitter, “FYI the matter of 7 year old James Younger is being looked into by the Texas Attorney General’s Office and the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services. #JamesYounger.” The father and his supporters have compiled a lengthy set of documents in the case, which you can read here.
The father has accused Georgulas of telling James that “monsters only eat boys.”
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Anne Georgulas Wants the Child Called ‘Luna’ & Shown ‘Affirmation’ as a Girl
In a court document shared on the father’s website, the mother asked the court to stop the father “from signing Luna up as James for any activities or taking her as James or calling her James or using male pronouns related to Luna at any activities outside the home…” and asked the court to stop the father from “allowing the children to remain in the presence of anyone who is not calling Luna by her chosen name, ‘Luna,’ not using female pronouns to refer to her and otherwise not affirming Luna.”
On her Facebook page, which only contains a few family photos for public view, Anne Georgulas, who is based in Coppell, Texas, posted a photo showing James Younger wearing a pink dress (see above.)
The Texan’s Daniel Friend quoted a lawyer for the father as telling jurors: “You’ve heard of people who can’t agree if the sky is blue. These parents can’t even agree if their child is a boy or a girl.”
The mother insists that James wants to be Luna, identifies as a girl, and should be shown “affirmation,” whereas the dad wanted an approach of “watchful waiting,” The Texan reported, adding that the mother was not seeking medical transition at this time, such as puberty blockers, although that could change when the youth hits puberty. The mother wants to socially transition James to be Luna.
Before the judge’s October 24 ruling, the jury said James should have a “sole managing conservatorship” and that the father shouldn’t be the one give it. The mother argues the child should wear dresses and be considered a girl named “Luna” at school.
The father claims the mother changed the child to a girl for business pictures on her pediatrician’s website.
According to The Texan, the mother claims she noticed James was identifying as a girl when he wanted a girl’s toy from McDonald’s, wanted to wear dresses, and imitated female Disney characters from Frozen. She was advised by Rebekka Ouer, a counselor at GENecis clinic at Children’s Hospital Center, who believed James should start undergoing a “social transition” as a girl.
Three mental health professionals diagnosed James with gender dysphoria, according to The Texan. One therapist testified that James expressed anxiety because when the child was around Jeff Younger, James was “having to be a boy” and another said the child picked out the name Luna on sticky notes when asked whether the child wanted to be Luna or James.
The case was before Judge Kim Cooks of the 255th Family District Court. In contrast to the mother’s witnesses, two family friends testified that James is happy to be a boy, according to The Texan. Another expert testified that most children thought to be transgender identify with their biological sex eventually when watchful waiting is chosen.
An affidavit submitted by the mother and shared on the dad’s website stated that a judge had previously issued temporary orders stating that the “hair of James/Luna is to be worn in a manner that is normal for both a six year old boy and girl.” She claims that the father cut the child’s hair even though it was “already a fairly short boy cut” without getting permission from an Amicus Attorney. The mother wrote that she was “very concerned that Jeff” would “try to ‘out’” the child as James at a school event.
A court transcript shared by the father’s website quotes the mother as describing social transition as “when a child is allowed to present in whatever way they wish. So, normally, if you’re a transgender female, which is what my child would be considered, they – they’ll choose dresses and use female pronouns and grow their hair long and want to do girl things, and you let them.”
In a video posted to the dad’s website, James is asked, “You’re a boy right?”
“No, I’m a girl.”
“Who told you you’re a girl?”
The child said Anne also put James in dresses. “She buys me headbands. She gets me hair clips…she paints my nails.”
“Do you think you’re a girl?” The child answered in the affirmative.
2. The Mother Is a Pediatrician Whose Website Says Her Goal Is Making Sure Her Patients’ Children Are ‘Flourishing’
According to the mother’s pediatrician website biography, she is “a mother of four, two teenagers and two young children. She’s a board certified pediatrician of the American Board of Pediatrics (ABP). The ABP’s General Pediatrics Certificate is recognized throughout the world. Dr. Anne’s pediatric credentials signify a high level of competence.”
The website says: “Anne’s clinical practice is not just a profession – it’s her vocation. Whether it’s advising parents about difficult behavioral problems, pulling from her vast experience to diagnose a difficult illness, or just giving a few kind words while stitching up a cut, Dr. Anne’s goal is your child’s flourishing.”
The site continues, “Dr. Anne is an Associate Professor of Pediatrics at Children’s Medical Center. She trains the next generation of pediatricians in her style of compassionate, professional care. She focuses her teaching on differential diagnosis. Dr. Anne’s students learn to consider the whole child, the whole family, and the child’s environment.” Her professional Facebook page was deleted.
In a 2018 court filing, shared on the dad’s website, the mother claimed: “Specifically, James is a gender expansive or transgender child and, by choice, now goes by the name Luna and is only known by her classmates as a girl…In response to Luna’s choices, the Father has engaged in increasingly aggressive behavior, including physical force, toward the Mother. His actions are clearly intended to threaten and intimidate the Mother. Further, the Father has engaged in emotionally abusive behavior toward the child (as example only, haircutting and other non-affirming actions.) Although unclear if this behavior rises to the level of family violence at this time, the Father’s aggression is becoming more common and more intense.”
The mother asked the court to stop the father from cutting the children’s hair and “requiring Father to affirm Luna and honor her choices, both inside and outside the home,” among other requests, the document states.
The mother also wanted the father ordered “to attend counseling and/or educational classes associated with being the parent of a transgender child or a potentially transgender child. Specifically, a class that educates Father how his actions and non-affirming behavior could be harmful to the child’s emotional and well-being,” according to the document.
3. Anne Georgulas, Whose Reviews Are Now Filling Up With Critics, Studied at the University of Texas & Children’s Medical Center in Dallas
Georgulas’s website biography gives her credentials as follows:
University of Texas Health Science Center, San Antonio, TX – MD, 1991
Children’s Medical Center Dallas – Pediatric Residency, 1994
American Academy of Pediatrics
Texas Pediatric Society
Texas Medical Association
Denton County Medical Association
Mom Approved Doc 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014 (Dallas Child Magazine)
The website labels her business “Dr. Anne modern parenting, classic healthcare.”
“Our family loves Dr. Anne Pediatrics for our two small children,” reads one review highlighted on the website.
On Yelp, people are posting reviews about Georgulas who are angry about the jury’s decision. However, there are some reviews that are dated before the news stories broke. One woman wrote in 2017 on Yelp, “I really like this office. The staff is very friendly and is good with the kids. I like Dr. Anne, she is nice and doesn’t over complicate things. She could be a little better at listening and spend a little more time in the room. The new Dr they have is great!!”
In 2018, a woman wrote, “In 1997 my best friend was living in Coppell, TX and stumbled across Dr. Geogulas’ practice only because it was convenient to her home. She was so impressed with ‘Dr. G,’ as we now call her, she insisted I try her for at least one visit with my two year old identical twins. Those same twins are now 23. Since that time, I have raised five children under Dr. Anne’s excellent care and guidance.”
In April 2019, a woman wrote, “My son’s scoliosis was mis diagnosed by Dr G. The school nurse saw the curve while Dr G did not. She had seen him for his annual physical shortly before the school nurse saw the curvature in his spine. He ended up with pediatric neurosurgery and wearing a brace. I cannot understand how his pediatrician did not see this problem.”
However, critics are now filling the review websites with angry comments about Georgulas.
4. There Is a Facebook Page & Website Called ‘Save James’
A Facebook page on the case is called “Save James.” The cover photo on it is a proverb: “Speak for those who cannot speak for themselves.”
The page shares pictures of James Younger with the child’s dad, writing, “Here’s James, loving his daddy, just moments before leaving the protection of daddy. The world is praying for more scenes like this. Save James, save thousands of children!”
The page added: “Many people are leaving mean remarks on the mother’s business page. Please note that we DO NOT encourage or condone this. We pray fervently for a change of heart but do not wish her any ill- will.”
Sarah Scott, who runs it, wrote that she knows James and considers him a boy.
“Over the past year, I have observed that James is blissfully happy as a boy. He loves to march around outside and yell, ‘we are the only boy scout troop’ or ‘I’m the Leader of the wolf pack!'” she wrote. “He is always the ring leader, even though he isn’t the oldest of the group. He loves dressing as a super hero and sword fighting.”
Scott concluded, “I pray that the judge will be wise and fair with the details surrounding the final decision tomorrow and give these little men the best chance they can get at a happy healthy life.”
The father’s website says that he volunteered for a private Christian school, Coram Deo. “Mr. Younger volunteered to serve on the board of the school. He helped transition the school to a new mathematics program and created financial models for the Headmaster,” the site says. The site contains a slew of accusations that the father is lodging against the mother that go well beyond James.
The website alleges that Georgulas “FORCES JAMES TO COME OUT AS A GIRL. At James’s fifth birthday party, an event full of people from church, Ms. Georgulas forced the boy to wear a dress. Witnesses tell Mr. Younger that his son hid in a corner and cried.”
The website claims, “James dresses as a girl at school. Goes by a girl’s name. Uses the girl’s restroom. All his authority figures at school affirm he is a girl — teachers, principals, police officers, peer students, librarian. This child is being lied to by the very institutions that should be protecting him.”
It continues, “When with his Father, James is a normal boy and acts like a normal boy. He does not exhibit any liking for girls toys, steadfastly refuses to wear girl’s clothes, refuses to engage in typical girl’s play, is in fact hyper-athletic. The purported gender dysphoria affecting James never shows up at his Father’s home. This can be attested by scores of witnesses.” The site adds, “Ms. Georgulas is well aware that Father’s religious beliefs preclude any affirmation of a false gender self-identity.”
The dad’s website also shared a document it says were Georgulas’s responses in court in “reference to hormone suppression and replacement therapy.”
The mother was asked to read from a document that said, “Dressing in girls’ clothing. Mom has met with psyche via GENECIS Clinic at UT Southwestern CMC. Luna also meeting with psychological monthly. Will plan to have eval at GENECIS when closer to eight to nine years old to consider hormone suppression.”
The question was, “So was that something you planned to do when the child gets closer to eight or nine or is that something she suggested?”
Answer, attributed to the mother: “Well, that’s the recommendation, that’s what GENECIS suggests, that’s what she’s talking about, but that would only be if she persists.”
5. Georgulas Accused Jeff Younger of Marital Fraud
Things got very ugly when the parents’ marriage broke down.
According to The Texan, Younger and Georgulas “decided to have children through in vitro fertilization (IVF).” They requested male children and had twin boys in 2012.
The parents were members of an Orthodox church, who named their children after Biblical reference, the newspaper reported.
According to an appellate court decision from the Fifth District of Texas Court of Appeals in the couple’s annulment, Younger and Georgulas were married on December 5, 2010. Before the marriage, Georgulas was the “sole parent of two adopted girls.” Together, they parented twin boys born in 2012. In February 2015, the mother testified she asked Younger to move out of her house, which he did in April 2015.
She filed a divorce petition in 2015 arguing that the marriage had become “insupportable because of discord or conflict of personalities.”
The court record gave further details of the mother’s allegations. She testified in court in 2016 that she had learned Younger was married twice when she had been told initially of one marriage, that he “lied to her” about military experience, that he earned less income than she thought he did, that he had “taken unemployment probably several times in his life,” and that he did not have a college degree, and he was not a professor. She stated that she wouldn’t have married Younger if she had known about the second previous marriage.
A psychologist who conducted a child custody evaluation report testified that Younger admitted to him that he “misstated or lied” to Georgulas about his history as to education, previous marriages, military experience, and employment. The mother argued that her business gave Younger a $45,000 check to purchase a truck but he sold it without permission after they separated. They had a prenuptial agreement.
In 2016, the court annulled the marriage and awarded Georgulas damages in the amount of the truck. Younger appealed. Younger testified that people were “clearly aware of my first wife” because Georgulas’s daughters used to make fun of her nickname.
The court records say Younger argued that “even if he exaggerated his educational accomplishments” and this constituted “a species of fraud, they do not afford a basis for destruction of the marriage.”
Georgulas testified that Younger had told her he was getting his PhD and had two degrees from a university in Dallas but later she determined he didn’t have a college degree. The court records state that Georgulas testified that she learned Younger “had been in the Marines for a very short period of time and because he was underage, he got removed from the Marines,” even though he allegedly told her he was a career Marine who had to fight in the Iraq War.
According to Georgulas, “she found out after they separated that Younger had been in the Army and was discharged due to an ‘admission of homosexuality.’” The court opinion states that the “record shows Younger testified he did not ‘mention much about the Army’ during the marriage, but acknowledged he was discharged from the Army due to admission of homosexuality.”
Younger earned in excess of $100,000 only in the year 2000, according to the court records.
The appeals court concluded that “the evidence supports the trial court’s findings supporting conclusions that Younger committed fraud by inducing Georgulas into marriage. Younger denied Georgulas’s allegations, and in some cases testified to the contrary. However, the trial court is the sole judge of the credibility of the witnesses, and it was permitted to believe Georgulas’s testimony and reject Younger’s testimony…. The trial court did not err in rendering a judgment annulling the marriage.”