The transgender teen sued by her own mom in Minnesota says there's a good reason her mother was never notified of her transition from male to female. The 17-year-old, identified as JDK, alleges in court documents that her parents struggled with substance abuse when she was growing up, leaving her to care for herself, and began physically and verbally abusing her when she came out as gay at 13, reports NBC News. JDK eventually moved in with her grandmother—part of a "network of other adults who supplied some of the care and nurturing that her biological parents were unable to offer"—before getting a place of her own two and a half years ago, according to the filing. She then drew up an emancipation statement and essentially cut ties.
JDK then began seeking gender transition care. Soon after, Anmarie Calgaro sued—to regain parental control, and to stop two health-care providers from offering transition services to JDK, whom she still refers to as her son. Calgaro's lawyer said Thursday that JDK was "a pawn in someone else's agenda, influenced by those who have no right to make decisions over [her] life," per Courthouse News. But JDK says she was "not pressured in any way" in regards to treatment or her decision not to involve her mother. Calgaro is now racing to have her "full parental rights" restored before JDK's 18th birthday in July. Defense lawyers say JDK—who is set to graduate high school, has a full-time job, and has been accepted to nursing school—is clearly an emancipated minor. Calgaro says "legal emancipation" was never approved by a court. (More on the case here.)