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#SaveLuna: The Conservative Media Outrage Story Based on Lies

#SaveLuna: The Conservative Media Outrage Story Based on Lies

At the heart of a conservative outrage nightmare and a vicious custody battle is a child. The parents, Jeffrey Younger and Anne Georgulas, can’t even agree whether their seven-year-old is a boy or a girl. Conservative media and punditry has largely already made up its mind, relying on lazy dogma and outright lies to sell a narrative. In this report I will attempt to correct the record by cutting through the bullshit.

In disinfecting the story, using simple processes such as actually reading verified case documents, citing credible sources and engaging their claims honestly, I hope to offer readers a clear perspective on a case so far muddied in bias, controversy, and propaganda. Considering we’re dealing with a media that’s both fallen asleep at the wheel and driven head-first off the crazy cliff, there’s a lot of lies to unpack and a lot of voices to put on the public propagandist watch. And while my accusations might seem unfair, I only say this given the staggering number of conservative and religious publications engaging in bad faith tactics to report on this story, while mainstream media has done almost zero to fact-check their smears.

At the heart of these misleading claims is the story of a liberal mother forcing her youngest child into transgenderism, while the child’s conservative, everyman father tries to keep them safe from harm. This narrative has been mass-reproduced by the likes of National Review, Breitbart, The Daily Wire, Church Militant, The Christian Post, Blaire White, PJ Media and what’s more, they all rely on the claims made by a single opinion article from The Federalist,  written by a former transexual turned born again Christian named Walt Heyer. 

From Heyer and company, we’re presented with simplistic details about how the child is treated in the parents’ separate homes. When living with the mother, they’re given no choice but to live their life as a girl named Luna. When living with the father, however, the child has the option to live as whichever identity they want, opting for a life as a boy named James. We’re told the child was given a “misdiagnosis” by one “trans-friendly” doctor known as a “rainbow counselor”, signifying a self-fulfilling plan organized exclusively by the mother without proper oversight or fatherly involvement. We’re told that family friends say the child doesn’t exhibit signs of gender dysphoria, and that the diagnosis is based on a potential “Munchausen syndrome by proxy”, by Heyer’s anti-trans pediatrician Michelle Cretella.

“What this mom is doing to James looks very much like what my grandmother did to me by affirming me in the purple dress,” Heyer writes. “My grandmother didn’t intend to harm me, but her actions destroyed my childhood and my family and consumed nearly 50 years of my life. James has no idea what he is in for or how his gender journey will play out, but with an incorrect diagnosis it will be ugly.” And if we were to be lazy thinkers, assuming the entire narrative as laid-out here is indeed factual, this would be a strong case of both ideological gender coercion and modern child abuse by the trans community.

There’s just one small problem: It’s all bullshit

Thanks to a recent video investigation made by Timbah.On.Toast, an independent political commentator, it turns out the entire narrative delivered by Heyer and his colleagues is a fictionalized version of the court case, even going by the father’s sworn testimony. Although his blog no longer exists, Timbah archived nearly a dozen court documents showcasing how the story is almost the exact opposite of how Heyer and the media portrayed the story.

The most pivotal document is from July 10th — a transcript of testimonies given by the parents, the children, the friends, a child therapist, a child protective services agent and more — which indicates the media has failed to detail even the most basic facts regarding the case, framing both parents as being more pro-trans than they’ve sworn under oath. Although we won’t rely too much on Georgulas’ testimony outside chronological reasons, it bears acknowledging that she told the court she “prefer [her] child not be transgender” at all, informing the court that she’s basing her decisions purely on her knowledge as a practicing general pediatrician.

Throughout the transcript, we’re told of another pediatrician by the name of Dr. Pape. During both Georgulas’ and Younger’s testimony, we’re given corroborated details of how the diagnosis of gender dysphoria came to be. In court, both parties admit this wasn’t made by the so-called “trans-friendly rainbow counselor” only employed by the mother but was rather a regular pediatrician of their mutual choosing. In Timbah’s video, we’re told Pape is married to their local Christian pastor and they have no specialization in the area of some biased gender studies field. Heyer and company’s assertion of a false diagnosis now relies on the faults of two sources, one of whom was rejected by Younger only after receiving medical results he found disagreeable.

The records show that Younger was later contacted by Georgulas and Dr. Pape to schedule further appointments, at which time he refused to continue seeking their advice. Georgulas, however, sought a second medical referral from GENECIS, a child medical center offering children of all genders treatment, which confirmed her child’s diagnosis of gender identity disorder. Instead of complying with the appointments, it’s revealed that Younger was the one who made the accusations of Munchausen syndrome by proxy, writing several letters and making phone calls to medical staff, child protective services, and the police with claims of Georgulas forcing the child to be a girl and undergo hormonal drugs designed for adults.

The CPS investigation found no evidence of these chemical castration substances, not even puberty blockers which have been misrepresented as sterilizing drugs. Abuse by Georgulas was ruled out. Under the advisement of pediatricians, the parents were supposed to affirm their child in “letting them present whatever way they choose”, whether it’s a boy or a girl. If we simply believed Heyer’s sketchy report, it’d appear that Younger is the one complying with the medical prescriptions of the doctors, not Georgulas. When you read the transcript, however, both Georgulas and Younger present themselves in completely different roles.

Luna Georgulas Transcript

Save Luna transcript

Whereas Georgulas appears to allow choice in the household, both parents confirm Younger doesn’t allow their child to dress in feminine clothing, maintain long hair or be referred to by the name of their choosing. This is presented in multiple instances, such as photographs presented to the court showing Younger only cut the hair of his trans-child (not his cis-children) to potentially cause alienation, as well as Georgulas’ description of an argument over Luna’s clothing for an August parent-teacher conference (which led to the false CPS report).

Luna Younger Court Transcripts

What’s more are the contradictory statements from the father himself. In speaking out of both sides of his mouth, Younger first alleges having a “wait-and-see” attitude towards the situation, albeit couched in skepticism: “The father reported [to CPS] that he “does not mind his son dressing like a girl, however, he just wants to make sure it is his choice and not the mother forcing it upon her.” 

Luna Younger Court Transcript

However, when the lawyer cites emails showing that he forces the child to present as a boy in public, forces the child to wear only boy clothing in his house and says the child is “too young to make this choice” Younger reveals a decidedly more coercive approach. Timbah also cites several speeches and interviews from Younger showing how his religious bias deeply places his child’s medical health on gender issues into question. Also keep in mind Younger’s witnesses amounted to a Christian pastor who only contacted the child on three occasions and the organizers of the SaveJames blog. To say religion doesn’t play a factor in his children’s upbringing, overriding the judgment of his family, teachers, and medical professionals, is to simply deny reality.

Luna Younger TestimonyLuna Younger Court DocumentsLuna Younger Trans Case

When you exclusively read Heyer’s piece and his conservative copycats, the narrative is the exact opposite. “When James is away from his mother, he consistently rejects the idea that he is ‘Luna girl’ or that he wants to be a girl,” Heyer writes, citing Younger as a credible source. “In the father’s home, James appears to be a normal boy and doesn’t identify as a girl. He has a choice of boy’s or girl’s clothes there, and he chooses to dress as a boy. The fact that James changes gender identity depending on which parent is present makes the diagnosis of gender dysphoria both dubious and harmful.”

Not only is this demonstrably a lie by the father’s own admission, Heyer and company discount the most important resource which controls for parental intimidation factors — the testimony of the CPS agent. In court, the agent was asked to read notes during an interview with the child at their school. When none of the parents were in the room, Luna revealed the children are afraid of Younger because he called the police on Georgulas and that he “doesn’t let [them] dress in girl’s clothes because he thinks it’s all about their bodies and it’s not”, whereas the mother allows Luna to dress however they choose and that “no one is making them”. 

Luna Younger Court Case

When the CPS agent interviewed both the child’s teacher and twin brother, with neither parent being in the room, they confirmed the child prefers to be called Luna in class and at home. “[The brother] states that Luna has always wanted to be a girl and his mum lets her, but doesn’t make her,” the agent testified. “[The brother] states that his dad tries to make Luna be a boy by making her dress in boy clothes. [The brother] states this makes Luna feel sad.” From these controlled statements, we can see the father is placed in a negative light once the children are in neutral conditions. This is neither a fatherly slamdunk nor a 50/50 case of misunderstanding.

Luna Younger Case

Younger court documents transcript

The omission of such key evidence, selectively picking witnesses and reversing case details to simply smear their opposition, is an example of propaganda in action. And it worked. On Thursday, a Texas judge ruled that Georgulas — despite being awarded sole custody of the child — must comply with a new shared custody agreement where Younger has equal say in medical decisions.

The public, consuming a manufactured version of the court events I’ve described, believe justice has been served and the child is in a perceptually safe environment. Media pundits and dogmatists like Heyer and Cretella reap the benefits of this story without sharing the cost now being paid by the child. And without proper fact-checkers in Timbah and myself, this revenue cycle will continue until it is exposed for what it is — an ideological parody of what the news should be.

“It is unfortunate to see this situation being politicized, rather than focusing on what is in the child’s best interest,” said Casey Pick, senior fellow for advocacy and government affairs for the Trevor Project, a crisis intervention organization for LGBTQ people. 

Speaking with the Daily Beast, Pick also mentioned the Trevor Project’s recent National Survey on LGBTQ Youth Mental Health which found that 76% of LGBTQ youth felt that they suffered from a toxic political climate and disinformation around trans issues. “When the lives of transgender youth are sensationalized and treated like political footballs, the reality of their personal struggles and needs is lost in the shuffle.”