Our Pledge to Anti-Racism

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: EQUALITY TEXAS STATEMENT ON PASSAGE OF ANTI-TRANSGENDER SPORTS BAN, HB 25, TARGETING INNOCENT CHILDREN

Contact: Angela Hale | angela.hale@equalitytexas.org

Kara Watkins-Chow | kara.watkinschow@berlinrosen.com

 

EQUALITY TEXAS STATEMENT ON PASSAGE OF ANTI-TRANSGENDER SPORTS BAN, HB 25, TARGETING INNOCENT CHILDREN

AUSTIN (October 17, 2021) – Equality Texas, the largest statewide organization solely dedicated to securing full equality for LGBTQ+ Texans, responded today to the passage of anti-transgender bill HB 25 and the expected implementation of the bill.

“This cruel and grotesque ban puts a target on the backs of transgender children and adults, erases intersex people and sends a clear message that transgender and intersex people aren’t welcome or safe in Texas. Instead of heeding the community outcry against the bill and listening to the powerful testimony of trans kids and adults, families and advocates, Texas lawmakers willingly ignored the unequivocal evidence of the harm this bill (and bills like it) has already caused. Throughout four traumatizing legislative sessions, we’ve seen increased requests for help from families facing anti-LGBTQ+ threats as a result of this hostile climate. The ‘debate’ over this anti-transgender bill is already exacerbating intolerance, fueling discrimination, and solidifying Texas’ reputation as the leading state for violence against trans people. Lawmakers who supported this bill will have to live with its legacy and future impact on our communities,” said Ricardo Martinez (he/him), Chief Executive Officer of Equality Texas. 

“Anti-transgender extremists have made it their mission to attack children, spread misinformation and stoke fear in order to advance their own political careers and twisted agendas. This is shameful. This law will deprive transgender and intersex kids of their basic rights and opportunities to play with their friends, get exercise and learn life lessons through sports. 

“It’s been a long and brutal fight, but we will not stop fighting to protect our community and secure the nondiscrimination protections we need so that all young people can thrive and live out their fullest potential. We all have a part to play in combatting anti-transgender attacks, from calling your Senator to advocating for the Equality Act, sharing critical resources like The Trevor Project crisis hotline with people in your networks, or donating to LGBTQ+ organizations championing LGBTQ+ rights. 

“Equality Texas, the Transgender Education Network of Texas (TENT), Human Rights Campaign, ACLU of Texas, Texas Freedom Network, Lambda Legal and many more have our community’s back and we won’t let a handful of extremists speak for the vast majority of Texans who firmly believe that discrimination against trans and LGB+ people is wrong.”

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Equality Texas is the largest statewide organization working to secure full equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer Texans through political action, education, community organizing, and collaboration.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: EQUALITY TEXAS STATEMENT ON HOUSE PASSAGE OF HB 25

October 14, 2021 by Debi Jackson

Contact:

Angela Hale | angela.hale@equalitytexas.org

Kara Watkins-Chow | kara.watkinschow@berlinrosen.com

 

IN THE MOST EXTREME ANTI-LGBTQ+ SESSION IN TEXAS HISTORY, TEXAS HOUSE ADVANCES SPORTS BAN TARGETING TRANSGENDER CHILDREN

 

AUSTIN (October 14, 2021) — Today, the Texas House passed HB 25, an anti-transgender sports ban targeting innocent school-age children. Equality Texas, the largest statewide organization solely dedicated to securing full equality for LGBTQ+ Texans, responded:

“The passage of HB 25 is a hateful, targeted attack on transgender people living in Texas,” said Ricardo Martinez (he/him), Chief Executive Officer of Equality Texas. “Extremists in our Legislature have continuously leveraged cruel rhetoric and rampant misinformation to coordinate this attack on the transgender community — young children in particular — and have sent a clear message that Texas is not a safe place for them to live. 

“HB 25 singles out transgender children and permanently prohibits them from the foundational opportunities that sports provide children, like camaraderie with friends and learning lessons about teamwork, sportsmanship, and healthy exercise. It is yet another attack in a long year that has already been the most harmful legislative year on record for LGBTQ+ Texans, with over 50 bills targeting their health, safety, and humanity. Throughout four traumatizing legislative sessions, we’ve seen increased requests for help from families facing anti-LGBTQ+ threats as a result of this hostile climate. The “debate” over this anti-transgender bill is already exacerbating intolerance, fueling discrimination, and solidifying Texas’ reputation as the leading state for violence against trans people. 

“As the legislative process continues, and HB 25 moves to the Texas Senate, we will not stop fighting to protect transgender children. We’ll continue to educate lawmakers — replacing misinformation with real stories — and demand the statewide and federal nondiscrimination protections we need to prevent further harms. Transgender kids, adults, and their families are not political collateral. They deserve every fundamental right and opportunity that all other Texans have. Our lawmakers have a responsibility to do their job and enact policies that help all Texas families thrive, rather than perpetuating targeted oppression against young children and their families.” 

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Equality Texas is the largest statewide organization working to secure full equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer Texans through political action, education, community organizing, and collaboration. 

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: EQUALITY TEXAS RELEASES STATEMENT ON PASSAGE OF HB 25 BY THE HOUSE CALENDARS COMMITTEE

October 13, 2021 by Debi Jackson

Contact:

Debi Jackson | debi.jackson@equalitytexas.orgAngela Hale | angela.hale@equalitytexas.org

 

October 13, 2021 – AUSTIN, TEXAS – Equality Texas, the largest statewide organization solely dedicated to securing full equality for LGBTQ+ Texans, today released a statement on the passage of HB 25 through the Calendars Committee to the full House of Representatives. Ricardo Martinez (he/him), Chief Executive Officer of Equality Texas, released the following statement:

“The Texas Legislature’s unrelenting assault on transgender children continued today as the House Calendars Committee voted to move HB 25 to the full House without deliberation. The only word to describe this move is cruel. Despite unequivocal evidence of the harm filing, hearing, and debating anti-trans bills has caused trans kids and their families and overwhelming community opposition at each and every hearing, legislators choose to ignore the voices of the people. They are putting politics above people — above innocent children.

“The majority of Texans believe discrimination against LGBTQ+ people is wrong. Common sense policy doesn’t seek to harm Texans or ignore the negative implications of bills being proposed. Transgender children participating in sports is not a national emergency or a Texas emergency; these attacks on trans kids and the ongoing trauma to the trans community certainly are. This is unconscionable. We will continue to show up to the Capitol in opposition of these bills and will do everything we can to ensure they are defeated once and for all.”

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Equality Texas is the largest statewide organization working to secure full equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer Texans through political action, education, community organizing, and collaboration.

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Special Session 3 Week 3 Wrap-up: Despite overwhelming opposition, HB 25 was voted out of committee

October 8, 2021 by Debi Jackson

This past Wednesday, October 6, the House Constitutional Rights and Remedies Committee passed HB 25, the most recent version of the anti-transgender sports ban, on a party line vote.

Nearly 300 Texans turned out to oppose HB 25 compared to barely 50 people who supported the bill (many from outside of Texas). These numbers reflect what we know: the majority of Texans believe discrimination against LGBTQ+ people is wrong.

The fight isn’t over yet. Send a message to the Calendars Committee urging them to stop the ongoing trauma of transgender youth by not moving HB 25.

Equality Texans gathered to protest HB 25 before the hearing on Wednesday.

Equality Texans gathered to protest HB 25 before the hearing on Wednesday.

Each of those nearly 300 Texans had a different perspective, and the hearing itself was a beautiful display of those many stories:

Courageous transgender children missed school once again to tell their bullies in the legislature why inclusion and acceptance is so important to them. Their parents opened up about how traumatic the past 10 months have been, constantly returning to the Capitol to beg for their humanity.

Cisgender youth reminded the committee that they don’t see their trans friends as a threat to their success or safety, but they do see the emotional toll of the constant legislative attacks.

Teachers, principals, and school board members reiterated that trans kids playing sports has never been a problem in their schools, unlike the escalated anti-LGBTQ+ bullying that’s creeping into their classrooms.

Transgender adults shared their own journeys with belonging, knowing who they are, and the vital importance of simple respect and affirmation.

Mental and behavioral health professionals presented heart-wrenching statistics about the mental health consequences of invalidating a child’s gender identity and quantitative evidence from crisis hotlines of how this debate has profoundly impacted kids.

Legal experts walked us through how anti-transgender sports bans violate the constitutional rights of transgender youth while exposing how supporters of the bill have grossly misrepresented any minuscule success by a transgender athlete as “domination.”

Faith leaders provided moral support, reminding us that transgender people are perfect just the way they are.

Businesses came out to testify that HB 25 is just one in a long line of anti-LGBTQ+ bills that create a hostile culture in Texas, repelling talented workers who value diversity and respect.

And Texas LGBTQ+ advocacy groups, including Equality Texas, held lawmakers accountable for the dramatic rise in the last year of anti-LGBTQ+ bullying, harassment, and even assaults across the state.

Trans, nonbinary, and intersex kids need us to be active allies.

Add your voice and tell the Calendars Committee not to move HB 25.

Despite the committee vote, our community and allies made the strongest case this year for the sheer unwarranted cruelty of the bill. This overwhelming opposition is an essential tool for slowing down the bill’s momentum and will help us tremendously in the days moving forward.

We wouldn’t have this tool if it were not for you. Whether you attended the protest, registered a position, sent a message to lawmakers, testified for the first time or the 9th — you made a real difference this week. Thank you. We see you and we know how hard this year has been and are in awe of your resilience and steadfast hope. We will continue to do everything we can to keep anti-transgender legislation from becoming law.

The bill still has several steps to go. The Calendars Committee will soon have to decide whether to set HB 25 for a floor date to debate the bill in the full House. There are only 12 days left in this special session. Let’s give them everything we’ve got.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: EQUALITY TEXAS RELEASES STATEMENT ON HOUSE COMMITTEE PASSAGE OF HB 25

October 7, 2021 by Debi Jackson

Contact: Debi Jackson | debi.jackson@equalitytexas.org

     Angela Hale | angela.hale@equalitytexas.org

 

October 7, 2021 – AUSTIN, TEXAS – Equality Texas, the largest statewide organization solely dedicated to securing full equality for LGBTQ+ Texans, today released a statement on the House committee passage of HB 25. Ricardo Martinez (he/him), Chief Executive Officer of Equality Texas, released the following statement:

“The Texas Legislature launched an unprecedented attack on the LGBTQ+ community during the regular legislative session which has continued now for three special sessions. This unrelenting attack on innocent children is cruel. Despite unequivocal evidence of the harm filing, hearing, and debating anti-trans bills has caused trans kids and their families and overwhelming community opposition, the bill was passed (8-4) out of the Constitutional Rights & Remedies Committee. 291 Texans registered their opposition to HB 25 while only 55 registered support. These numbers reflect what we know — the majority of Texans believe discrimination against LGBTQ+ people is wrong. Common sense policy doesn’t seek to harm Texans or ignore the negative implications of bills being proposed. Transgender children participating in sports is not a national emergency or a Texas emergency; these attacks on trans kids and the ongoing trauma to the trans community certainly are. This is unconscionable. We will continue to show up to the Capitol in opposition of these bills and will do everything we can to ensure they are defeated once and for all.”

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Equality Texas is the largest statewide organization working to secure full equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer Texans through political action, education, community organizing, and collaboration.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: RALLY IN OPPOSITION OF HB 25

October 6, 2021 by Debi Jackson

Contact: Debi Jackson | debi.jackson@equalitytexas.org

Angela Hale | angela.hale@equalitytexas.org, Emmett Schelling | info@transtexas.org 

 

The Human Rights Campaign, Equality Texas, the Transgender Education Network of Texas, the ACLU of Texas, Lambda Legal and Texas Freedom Network will be hosting a rally on the South Steps of the Texas Capitol in opposition of HB 25 and to honor the nearly 4,000 transgender and nonbinary youth in Texas who have had to reach out to crisis call centers this year, with many directly stating that they are feeling stressed and considering suicide due to anti-trans laws being debated in Texas.

 

WHAT: Rally and Advocacy Day

WHEN: Wednesday, October 6, 2021 | 10:30AM 

WHERE: South Steps of the Texas Capitol

 

Austin, TexasOctober 6, 2021 – Equality Texas, Human Rights Campaign the Transgender Education Network of Texas, the ACLU of Texas, Lambda Legal, and Texas Freedom Network will be hosting a rally on the South Steps of the Texas Capitol in opposition to HB 25 on October 6th at 10:30AM.

Debating bills like HB 25 puts trans and LGB youth at further risk. Crisis hotlines are already reporting dire mental health consequences of the debate about the dignity of transgender youth. The Trevor Project, an LGBTQ+ hotline, recently reported that calls from Texas youth are up 150% compared to 2020. The report also shares that “transgender and nonbinary youth in Texas directly stated that they are feeling stressed, using self-harm, and considering suicide due to anti-LGBTQ laws being debated in their state.” It is the collective goal of the aforementioned organizations to protect and affirm the innate humanity of all trans and LGB people, as such we will be rallying at the capitol to ensure our lawmakers prioritize the affirmation and protection of transgender Texans.  

Ricardo Martinez (he/him), Chief Executive Officer of Equality Texas, said “Since the session began, we have learned of incident after incident where transgender kids and adults are attacked verbally, physically and sometimes fatally for simply being themselves. The relentless effort by lawmakers to dehumanize transgender people has contributed to creating unwelcoming spaces for trans Texans. Whether it’s school, work, or accessing public accommodations, transgender Texans do not deserve to worry about their safety and well-being. Ignoring the harm caused by these bills to prioritize hypothetical emergencies is nothing short of negligent leadership.”

Rebecca Marques (she/her), Texas State Director, Human Rights Campaign, said, “Holding yet another hearing demonstrates just how hard legislators are working to pass a discriminatory harmful bill that is opposed by thousands of Texans, educators, businesses, medical experts, and more. This time, the House is trying something new: while one version of the bill, SB 3, proceeds along the traditional route of jurisdiction through the House Public Education Committee, an identical version, HB 25, is taking a different path through this newly created Select Committee, and the Select Committee is moving fast. Despite deep exhaustion from speaking out against these repeated attempts to pass anti-trans legislation, supporters of LGTBQ+ equality have been tireless in their efforts to ask Texas legislators to stop targeting trans children.”

Emmett Schelling (he/him), Executive Director of the Transgender Education Network of Texas, said “This is an emergency. The alarming uptick of mental health anguish trans people are in is a direct result of decisions lawmakers have made at the Capitol. We hope that the unequivocal evidence of the harm caused by these bills and the record 75+ anti-LGBTQ+ bills (50+ of them anti-trans) filed this year will help lawmakers do right by trans Texans, instead of attacking them.”

Val Benavidez (she/her), President and Executive Director, Texas Freedom Network, said: “Texans deserve better than leaders who bully kids as a way to distract from their catastrophic failures on critical issues, like a virus that has killed more than 66,000 Texans and a broken power grid they still haven’t fixed even after millions of us were left freezing in the dark last winter. But here they go again, spending precious time and resources to pass laws targeting transgender kids for discrimination. Transgender students participating in sports at school isn’t a threat to anyone. Failed leadership is.”

Adri Perez (they/them), Policy & Advocacy Strategist, ACLU of Texas, said: “For the seventh time this year, the Texas Legislature is attempting to pass an unnecessary and unconstitutional bill that will cause undeniable harm to children. Similar laws have already been declared unconstitutional in courts around the country yet Texas continues to place a cruel and relentless target on transgender kids and their families. Anyone who votes for this bill will be rejecting the recommendations of women’s sports experts and the will of the people — all for the senseless purpose of unlawfully discriminating against kids. No child should have to defend their right to be respected equally.”

Shelly Skeen (she/her), Senior Attorney for Lambda Legal, said: “Targeting transgender students by excluding them from athletic programs, as HB 25 intends, stigmatizes them, not just in athletics but in every aspect of their school lives. Transgender young people are no different from their peers — they want to play and be a part of a team, just like any other student. In addition to being a cruel policy that is a solution in search of a problem, it is sex discrimination in violation of federal law and puts the State of Texas, as well as its over 1000 school districts, at great risk of liability.” 

Excluding transgender children from normal school activities fuels a culture of bias that puts kids in danger: Transgender, nonbinary, and gender non-conforming students are at greater risk of experiencing hostile climate and discrimination in school already. Failing to support transgender student athletes only perpetuates a culture of bias. Choosing not to protect transgender youth by ignoring the unequivocal evidence the impact anti-trans bill debates have on innocent children is cruel and irresponsible. 

 

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Equality Texas is the largest statewide organization working to secure full equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer Texans through political action, education, community organizing, and collaboration.

The Transgender Education Network of Texas is the largest statewide, BIPOC trans-led, trans-focused policy, education, and advocacy organization in the state of Texas.

The Texas Freedom Network (tfn.org) is a grassroots organization of religious and community leaders and young Texans building an informed and effective movement for equality and social justice.

By inspiring and engaging individuals and communities, the Human Rights Campaign strives to end discrimination against LGBTQ+ people and realize a world that achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all. HRC envisions a world where lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people plus community members who use different language to describe identity are ensured equality and embraced as full members of society at home, at work and in every community.

Lambda Legal is the oldest and largest national legal organization whose mission is to achieve full recognition of the civil rights of lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, transgender people and everyone living with HIV through impact litigation, education and public policy work.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Texas is the leading civil rights organization in the Lone Star State. Since our formation in 1938, we have worked in the courts, the legislature, and through public education to protect civil rights and individual liberty.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: EQUALITY TEXAS REACTS TO THE SCHEDULING OF ANTI-TRANSGENDER SPORTS BILL HB 25 HEARING

October 5, 2021 by Debi Jackson

Contact: Debi Jackson | debi.jackson@equalitytexas.org 

                   Angela Hale | angela.hale@equalitytexas.org | 512-289-2995

 

Crisis counselors have fielded over 14,500 calls, texts, and online messages from young LGBTQ Texans looking for support in the last year. Despite the crisis young LGBTQ+ people are in as a result of the debate being had about their humanity — lawmakers continue their relentless and cruel attack on innocent children.

Austin, TexasOctober 5, 2021 – Equality Texas, the largest statewide organization solely dedicated to securing full equality for LGBTQ+ Texans, today responded to HB 25, the anti-transgender sports ban being scheduled for a hearing. Ricardo Martinez (he/him), Chief Executive Officer of Equality Texas, released the following statement:

“For months, we have been ringing the alarm about the unequivocal harm that filing, hearing, and debating anti-trans bills has had on our community. Placing invented hypothetical scenarios over the real harm these bills have already caused transgender children and adults and their families reveals the intent of policies like this: cruelty. What we worried most about is happening now — the relentless bullying we have witnessed at the Capitol has trickled down to our schools. In September alone, we received close to twenty incident intakes for support. These include a Lamar County middle schooler who was viciously beaten by a classmate at a school-sponsored event because he was gay. The attacker taunted the boy by saying, “…you want to be a girl.” The victim is cisgender. A trans middle schooler in Austin attempted to take her own life after being bullied mercilessly by a classmate about her gender identity. A Wichita ISD teacher was pressured to release names of students who use names and pronouns different from their enrollment forms, “outing” transgender kids. The Trevor Project received nearly 4,000 crisis contacts from transgender and nonbinary youth in Texas in 2021 — a 150% increase over the same period last year — with many directly stating that they are feeling stressed and considering suicide due to anti-trans laws, including sports bans, being debated in our state. These are real kids and real lives and should not continue to be treated as political fodder, session after session. Trans and LGB people do not deserve to live under constant threat and fear of their safety and well-being. We will continue to show up to the Capitol in opposition of these bills and will do everything we can to ensure they are defeated once and for all.”  

 

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Equality Texas is the largest statewide organization working to secure full equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer Texans through political action, education, community organizing, and collaboration.

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Special Session 3 Week 2 Wrap-up: 263 days have passed since the first day of the 87th Legislative Session — more than double expected

October 1, 2021 by Debi Jackson

This week three anti-transgender sports bans were referred to House committees, moving one step closer to becoming law. Although the three bills, SB 3, HB 10, and HB 25 are nearly identical, they were referred to two separate committees: the Public Education committee and the Constitutional Rights and Remedies committee. The next step for these bills is for the chair to set a public hearing, generally with only 24 hours notice.

The hearing will likely be the last chance for the general public to voice opposition to the bills. Our goal is to drive more people to the hearing than ever before, overwhelming lawmakers with the truth: that Texans do not support the constant targeting of transgender kids.

Commit to taking action for the House anti-transgender sports ban hearing. Sign up here to be the first notified when a hearing is set. 

The longer this debate continues, the more lies about who transgender people are saturate this state. Anti-transgender sports bans push the lie that transgender kids are a “threat” that cisgender kids must be protected from, directly fanning the flames of transphobia in our state, and terrifying trans Texans who are just trying to live their lives.

We’re seeing the consequences. The Trevor Project, an LGBTQ+ hotline, recently reported that calls from Texas youth are up 150% compared to 2020 and that “transgender and nonbinary youth in Texas directly stated that they are feeling stressed, using self-harm, and considering suicide due to anti-LGBTQ laws being debated in their state.”

Let trans youth in Texas know that you support them by participating in the House hearing. Sign up here to commit to advocacy on what will be one of the most important hearing dates this year in LGBTQ+ rights in Texas. Whether you have 10 minutes or a few hours, you can do so much! Drop a card to formally enter your opposition against the bill, testify, make office visits, or simply rally to make noise and cheer on testifiers on their way to deliver testimony.

Despite the relentless attacks on the LGBTQ+ community in the Capitol this year, youth in Texas are showing us a brighter future. Last week, students in Irving’s MacArthur High School staged a walkout after LGBTQ+ safe space stickers were removed from campus, and this week students at Temple High School walked out in solidarity with their transgender classmate after she was denied the use of the girl’s restroom.

These kids are courageously embodying leadership, empathy, and love by wielding their power to support their LGBTQ+ classmates. They are directly combatting homophobia and transphobia on the ground — from adults — and demanding change in their communities.

This year has been particularly brutal — with more than 70 bills targeting the LGBTQ+ community as a whole, 50+ of those bills directly focused on transgender kids, and multiple laws enacted that curtail our the rights and safety of all Texans. But these kids in Irving and in Temple have shown what happens when we band together, push back, and keep fighting.

Keep fighting with us as we continue to show legislators the strength, persistence, and determination of our community. If you can’t attend hearings in-person, remember you can submit written testimony, call your legislators, and register formal positions for the public record. Everything makes a difference, and only together can we hold the line against every anti-LGBTQ+ measure legislators throw at us.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: EQUALITY TEXAS AND THE TRANSGENDER EDUCATION NETWORK OF TEXAS TO LEAD DEMONSTRATION AGAINST HB 10, HB 25, AND SB 3.

September 29, 2021 by Debi Jackson

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: EQUALITY TEXAS AND THE TRANSGENDER EDUCATION NETWORK OF TEXAS TO LEAD DEMONSTRATION AGAINST HB 10, HB 25, AND SB 3.

 

Contact: Debi Jackson | debi.jackson@equalitytexas.org

Angela Hale |angela.hale@equalitytexas.org, Emmett Schelling | info@transtexas.org 

 

Crisis lines have received nearly 4,000 contacts from transgender and nonbinary youth in Texas this year, with many directly stating that they are feeling stressed and considering suicide due to anti-trans laws being debated in Texas.

 

WHAT: Texans Deserve Better: Demonstration in opposition to HB 10, HB 25 & SB 3

Equality Texas, the Transgender Education Network of Texas, ACLU of Texas, Human Rights Campaign, Lambda Legal and the Texas Freedom Network will host a demonstration in protest of anti-transgender bills HB 10, HB 25 and SB 3 outside of the House Chambers.

WHEN: Thursday, September 30, 2021 | 10:30AM – 12:00PM 

WHERE: Outside of the House chambers

 

Austin, TexasSeptember 29, 2021 – Equality Texas, the largest statewide organization solely dedicated to securing full equality for LGBTQ+ Texans, and The Transgender Education Network of Texas (TENT), the largest statewide, BIPOC trans-led, trans-focused policy, education, and advocacy organization in the state of Texas, released the following statements:

“With the anti-trans bills HB 10, HB 25 and SB 3 now referred to two House committees, we’re looking at the potential of double the harm to families: double the anxiety, the worry, the lost hours from work and school spent testifying and asking to be treated with dignity. Equality Texas and our community partners the Transgender Education Network of Texas, Human Rights Campaign, Lambda Legal, ACLU of Texas, and Texas Freedom Network are committed to supporting our community in having their voices heard via testimony and through public demonstrations designed to shed light on how this unrelenting assault on trans young people and public debate about their humanity is already doing harm. Enough is enough,” said Ricardo Martinez (he/him), Chief Executive Officer of Equality Texas.

“The Trevor Project received nearly 4,000 crisis contacts from transgender and nonbinary youth in Texas in 2021 — a 150% increase over the same period last year — with many directly stating that they are feeling stressed and considering suicide due to anti-trans laws, including sports bans, being debated in our state. This is nearly identical to what happened in 2017, when a bathroom bill in a special session — one with a lot of co-sponsors — caused record spikes in crisis contacts. This is an emergency. The mental health anguish trans people are in is a direct result of decisions lawmakers have made at the Capitol. They can choose to see us, and to legislate considering the negative implications we have presented to them time and time again. We hope that the unequivocal evidence of the harm caused by these bills and the record 75+ anti-LGBTQ+ bills (40+ of them anti-trans) filed this year will help lawmakers do right by trans Texans, and focus instead on real problems,” said Emmett Schelling (he/him), Executive Director of TENT.

 

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Equality Texas is the largest statewide organization working to secure full equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer Texans through political action, education, community organizing, and collaboration.

The Transgender Education Network of Texas is the largest statewide, BIPOC trans-led, trans-focused policy, education, and advocacy organization in the state of Texas.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: EQUALITY TEXAS RELEASES STATEMENT ON TEMPLE HIGH SCHOOL WALKOUT

September 29, 2021 by Debi Jackson

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: EQUALITY TEXAS RELEASES STATEMENT ON TEMPLE HIGH SCHOOL WALKOUT

 

CONTACT:
Angela Hale | 512.289.2995 | angela.hale@equalitytexas.org
Debi Jackson | debi.jackson@equalitytexas.org 

 

September 29, 2021 – AUSTIN, TEXAS – Equality Texas, the largest statewide organization solely dedicated to securing full equality for LGBTQ+ Texans, today released comment on Temple High School students’ courageous walkout in solidarity with their transgender classmate who reports experiencing a hostile school climate.

“Findings from the GLSEN 2019 National School Climate Survey demonstrate that Texas schools are not safe for most lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) secondary school students. More recently, the Trevor Project released findings that they received nearly 4,000 crisis contacts from transgender and nonbinary youth in Texas in 2021 — a 150% increase over the same period last year — with many directly stating that they are feeling stressed and considering suicide due to anti-trans bill being debated in our state. This moment in time requires thoughtful inquiry and reflection about how schools can best support transgender children who are juggling being a kid, a global pandemic, living authentically, and the weight of cruel legislative attacks. School-based supports such as school personnel who are supportive of LGBTQ+ students and their identities, GSA student clubs, access to facilities that match a student’s gender identity, and LGBTQ-inclusive curricular resources can positively affect school climate for LGBTQ+ students and their peers. The absence of these supports can have detrimental effects on the mental health of youth and contributes to the development of hostile school climates experienced by all students. We should be working to create supportive and affirming environments in our schools that allow all people on campus, including LGBTQ+ students, to focus on academic success. It is our duty to ensure this goal is realized. Equality Texas is steadfast in our commitment to foster safe and inclusive environments where all LGBTQ+ Texans can live authentically and achieve their fullest potential. We applaud Temple High School students for their courage to stand in solidarity with their classmates and modeling what compassion, understanding and unconditional love look like,” said Ricardo Martinez (he/him), Chief Executive Officer of Equality Texas. 

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Equality Texas is the largest statewide organization working to secure full equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer Texans through political action, education, community organizing, and collaboration.

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