For LGBTQ mental health support, call the Trevor Project 24/7 toll-free helpline at (866) 488-7386. You can also reach a crisis counselor through the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline by calling (800) 273-8255 or texting 741741.
AUSTIN (KXAN) — Around the world, Thursday marked Transgender Visibility Day, and organizations took to the Texas State Capitol to protest recent actions by Texas leaders against transgender youth.
Last month, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton released a 13-page legal opinion, arguing that certain “gender-affirming procedures and treatments…when performed on children, may legally constitute child abuse.” children” under the Texas Family Code. Days later, Texas Governor Greg Abbott ordered the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services to investigate families seeking gender-affirming care for their children.
A Travis County district judge issued a temporary injunction preventing the state from enforcing Abbott’s directive earlier this month, but Paxton asked the state Supreme Court to intervene to allow the investigations into the abuse of parents of trans children.
The organizations Trans Resistance of Texas (TRoT) and TEAR IT UP said these actions by Abbott and Paxton “will further marginalize and traumatize trans children who are already in the foster care system.”
The groups gathered at noon for a “die in” – which they say is a form of protest that draws attention to legislation that causes undue harm to certain populations. To show it, protesters lined up near the steps of the Capitol.
“What we were trying to draw attention to here is the very real harm that will be done to trans youth and honestly trans adults if this pattern of legislation continues,” said Juniper Porter, with TRoT and TEAR IT UP.
Earlier this month, families warned DFPS of Abbott’s directive to launch investigations into families who seek gender-affirming care for their children, saying they do not affirm children’s identities. could have an impact on their mental health.
The Trevor Project also shared over the past year he has had more than 14,500 crisis contacts with young Texans who have requested to connect with a counselor via call, chat or text.
Abbott’s directive isn’t the only action the governor and lawmakers have taken on transgender youth. In January, a law requiring Texas public school athletes to play sports based on their biological sex at birth came into effect. At the time, Texas was the 10th state to pass this type of legislation.
“Trans people have always been here, and…we’re not going anywhere. And this law would only hurt more children,” Porter said.
Not only have these types of policies been implemented at the state level, but school districts in Texas are also taking action. Earlier this month, NBC News reported The superintendent of the Granbury Independent School District in North Texas has told librarians to remove books about sexuality and transgender people from campus shelves. About 130 titles were reviewed, and a volunteer review board voted three of the books permanently banned.
On Tuesday, 15 Texas lawmakers wrote a letter to the superintendentJeremy Glenn, hailing his “brave leadership” and saying they hope other districts will follow Granbury ISD’s example.