AUSTIN, TX – The Texas Freedom Network held a Transgender Awareness Day rally at the Texas State Capitol, where several hundred people showed up.
Marti Bier, director of programs for the Texas Freedom Network, says this is the first event they’ve organized, but transgender visibility rallies are held every year.
“It’s always important to be visible and to be seen, and to be out, but especially this year. I think we’ve been under so much attack as a community. The governor, the attorney general, we’ve been really prosecuted. The legislative session was brutal last year,” Bier said. “The trans community is truly one of the bravest and most beautiful groups of people on the planet. The attacks they have suffered are so unfounded and so unfair and are in fact so hurtful to members of the community. “
Recently, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton wrote a formal notice concluding that “Performing certain ‘sex reassignment’ procedures on children and prescribing puberty blockers constitutes ‘child abuse’ under Texas law.” This prompted Governor Greg Abbott to lead the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) to investigate reported cases of “abusive gender transition procedures” performed on children in Texas.
Earlier this year, a law went into effect in Texas that says student-athletes must compete on teams that match their sex assigned at birth.
Austin Mayor Steve Adler attended the event to support the transgender community. “They are members of our community, and they deserve our support, and they need to know that they are as safe in Austin as we can make them,” he said.
Austin and Travis County officials issued a proclamation in early March declaring Austin a safe and inclusive city for transgender families and the LGBTQIA+ community.
He adds, “We’re going to follow the experts and say that this type of gender-affirming care is really important in our county, in our city, there will be no prosecutions for people who follow medical science.”
Participant Merrie Hyltin says there should be more education.
“As a very masculine leaning human who lived in this body and grew up in Texas, born and raised in Texas, I don’t think there was anyone in school who grew up in school who said, “Hey, it’s okay. Hey, you can go to the boys section. I don’t know why the clothes are gendered, but you just weren’t comfortable living in your body. “I was a gay little boy. I’m a gay little boy. It wasn’t a choice, it wasn’t a decision that I woke up and made,” she said .
She also says that if people aren’t supporting you, they don’t need to be in your life. “Live your truth shamelessly, and you will find people in this world who will support you,” she said. “It irritates me to bother people so much. There’s so much phobia for something that’s not the norm and I don’t understand that.”
Lisa, a parent of a transgender child, says it’s important for family members to be supportive of their children.
“All kids know who they are, and we should believe them when they tell us who they are. I feel like that’s really important, especially in light of what I happen to show my daughter that we are not going to be afraid, and that she should be proud of who she is, and not hide who she is. It’s a day to celebrate trans people and to be visible, proud and loud about who they are. are,” she said. “Just to stay strong and keep loving and affirming your trans kids. We cannot let the government or a small group of closed-minded people interfere with family matters, personal and private medical decisions.”
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Austin safe and inclusive city for transgender youth and families, officials say
Legal battle continues over whether gender transition care for Texas trans youth is ‘child abuse’
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