When she entered high school, her mother said, Yaeli befriended another girl who identified as a boy and suggested to Yaeli that the reason for her depression might be that she was actually a boy.
Yaeli attended an LGBTQ club at school that affirmed her questioning of her own gender. Her counselor at school also affirmed her decision to begin socially transitioning from female to male.
‘I don’t know if the schools, they supposed to let us know what’s going on or not, but they never send me any note about telling me, ‘We need to talk about your daughter,’’ Martinez, who is originally from El Salvador, said.
Martinez said she found out what was happening to Yaeli through one of her other children, who attended the same high school.
Martinez recalls taking her daughter out to eat and asking her to share what was really going on in her life.
Yaeli told her mom: ‘I don’t want to talk about it because you guys are not going to be supportive.’
Martinez recalled responding to her daughter by saying, ‘Well, we don’t know. So, if you tell us what’s going on I’ll be more than happy to help you. I’d do anything to help you, Yaeli. The only thing that I need, and I wanted it for you, is to see the happy girl that used to be before.’
‘She said, ‘I’m not a girl. I’m a boy.’’
When Yaeli was 16, she moved out of her mother’s home.
Because Martinez expressed concerns over her daughter’s ‘transitioning’ to a boy, Yaeli’s school psychologist recommended that she would be better off living away from home.
Martinez lost custody of her daughter to the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services.
Martinez says she was allowed to visit her daughter for one hour a week. After six months, she got two hours.
The logic of the Department of Children and Family Services was that ‘if we keep [Yaeli] out of your home, she [will] have more chance to survive,’ Martinez recalled. ‘She’s not going to try to commit suicide.’
For about three years, Yaeli lived away from her family. She legally changed her name to Andrew and started taking cross-sex hormones.
Martinez watched as her daughter struggled to find happiness and relief from her depression.
‘She was taking the [cross-sex] hormones; she was not happy. She changed her name, [but] was not happy,’ Martinez said. ‘She adopted a dog because that was going to make her happy. None of it, everything that they’ve done, didn’t work.’
After identifying as a male for about three years, changing her name, and taking cross-sex hormones, Yaeli took her own life about six months before her 20th birthday.
And Martinez got that phone call from the coroner’s office.
She learned that her daughter had knelt on railroad tracks and raised her hands toward the sky as a train approached.
A Mom tearfully describes how California kidnapped her daughter and administered testosterone to her, instead of giving her therapy. Her daughter, suffering untreated mental health conditions, then killed herself by stepping in front of a train. pic.twitter.com/mrpubNPWLp
— Dane (@UltraDane) June 26, 2023
You can watch an uncut version of that speech, here:
And in all frankness, this was literally unconstitutional. To quote what the Supreme Court said in Troxel v. Granville, 530 U.S. 57 (2000):
The liberty interest at issue in this case—the interest of parents in the care, custody, and control of their children— is perhaps the oldest of the fundamental liberty interests recognized by this Court. More than 75 years ago, in Meyer v. Nebraska, 262 U. S. 390, 399, 401 (1923), we held that the ‘liberty’ protected by the Due Process Clause [of the Fourteenth Amendment] includes the right of parents to ‘establish a home and bring up children’ and ‘to control the education of their own.’ Two years later, in Pierce v. Society of Sisters, 268 U. S. 510 … (1925), we again held that the ‘liberty of parents and guardians’ includes the right ‘to direct the upbringing and education of children under their control.’ We explained in Pierce that ‘[t]he child is not the mere creature of the State; those who nurture him and direct his destiny have the right, coupled with the high duty, to recognize and prepare him for additional obligations.’ … We returned to the subject in Prince v. Massachusetts, 321 U. S. 158 (1944), and again confirmed that there is a constitutional dimension to the right of parents to direct the upbringing of their children. ‘It is cardinal with us that the custody, care and nurture of the child reside first in the parents, whose primary function and freedom include preparation for obligations the state can neither supply nor hinder.’
(Citations removed.) So, by taking her daughter from her, California violated the Constitution. And it is past time for the courts to step in and start striking these regimes down.