It’s been a rough week in Texas for transgender kids, adults and those of us who love them. Earlier this week Attorney General Ken Paxton and Governor Greg Abbott threatened to insert themselves into the doctor’s office of every Texas transgender youth — to deny them access to life-saving care – simply for political gain.
Fortunately, their reckless actions and opinions are not legally binding and cannot change the law. Loving your kid for who they are and providing medically necessary, life-saving healthcare is parenting at its best and cannot be considered child abuse.
This scare tactic from Texas leaders sent ripples all over the country where folks took to social media with an incredible outpouring of love and support for transgender youth. It filled our hearts and our cups to see everyone pull together and fight back against the dangerous disinformation spread by the Governor and AG Paxton.
While not changing law, the actions of our state leaders have created a chilling effect across the state. In Texas, everyone is charged with being a mandatory reporter, or someone who faces penalties if they suspect a child is being abused but do not make a report. This is especially true for teachers, doctors, counselors, and social workers who all receive training on their duty to report abuse. The confusion over the AG’s opinion and Governor’s letter has led to a state of fear, both for families terrified of false reports about their parenting and for allied mandatory reports who fear consequences if they don’t comply.
If you or someone you know is faced with a false report to CPS contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and reach out to Lambda Legal and the ACLU of Texas for legal help.
That’s why it’s so important to remember that the AG and Governor’s actions have not changed current law, and that the best practice standards of care endorsed by every major medical association are not “abuse.” That means that there is nothing for mandatory reporters to report.
Help us spread the word and take the power back. Join us Monday, February 28 for a webinar explaining recent events and hear from legal voices, social workers, and teachers about what you can do to help. Register here to attend.
You can also educate your friends and family with the points below, and send a message to email@example.com if you have a group who would like a briefing on what’s happened.
Donate now to help us educate the public. There is immense power in knowledge and the more people we can reach, the more we can reduce the harm these state leaders have caused.
As state leaders are striking fear into the hearts of everyday Texans, grassroots vigilante groups are continuing their crusade of censorship in schools. Over the past two weeks we’ve received 10 new reports of school districts and public libraries taking books off shelves in cities like McKinney, Eanes, and Coppell.
Students are fighting back. They know that a public school education is meant to help them prepare for their futures by teaching critical thinking and that some politicians cannot make a whole range of ideals illegal just because they don’t like them.
Follow the amazing work being done by students across the state. In Katy, students are distributing books, voter registration information, and mental health resources during the Katy ISD FReadom week. In Leander, students have created a banned book club, working their way through the books that have disappeared, turning the attempts at censorship into robust educational discussion. These stories inspire us every day with their courage, determination, and Texas grit in the face of those who want to silence them.
To report an incident occurring near you please email firstname.lastname@example.org
The Texas primary election day is this Tuesday, March 1. Make a plan to vote and encourage your friends. We have the power to hold our leaders accountable, especially when they use our community as political pawns.
Make sure they know that scare tactics against transgender kids is not acceptable and not politically beneficial.
We’re launching an unprecedented effort to TurnOUT for Texas and get out the vote for 2022. Donate now to support regional GOTV efforts across the state so that anti-trans fear mongering has real consequences for our elected officials.
Thank you to everyone who has spoken out against the recent statements from the AG and the Governor. This was just the latest cruel escalation in a long series of attacks on transgender youth in Texas and we are amazed at the resilience and resourcefulness of our community in Texas and beyond. As a community we know that the love that binds us is incredibly powerful and we saw it in full force this week.
Together, we will ensure that all kids in Texas, including transgender youth, are able to live full and healthy lives without fear.