FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: EQUALITY TEXAS RELEASES STATEMENT ON BOYCOTT OF SB 2 HEARING AND ALTERNATE PRESS CONFERENCE
THE TEXAS SENATE CONTINUES TO TRAUMATIZE FAMILIES BY SPREADING FEAR AND MISINFORMATION ABOUT TRANSGENDER KIDS
With more than 60 attempts to limit the liberties and rights of LGBTQ+ people, the 87th Texas Legislative Session and subsequent special sessions will go down in history as the most horrific and cruel attacks on LGBTQ+ rights ever.
Austin, Texas – August 8, 2021 – Equality Texas, the largest statewide organization solely dedicated to securing full equality for LGBTQ+ Texans, announces boycott of SB2 hearing and pro-equality press conference details. Ricardo Martinez (he/him), Chief Executive Officer of Equality Texas, released the following statement:
“We are appauled by the continued assault on our community. During the regular session and the last special session, advocates and community members tirelessly and courageously presented the Texas Senate with unequivocal evidence that Texas transgender children are deeply harmed every time they are forced to see their lives debated during hearings about their participation in sports and their access to affirming healthcare. Willingly overlooking the harm that anti-trans sports bans have on kids and their families with new hearings just underscores the true intent of bills like this: cruelty. Lawmakers who overlook the harm these bills cause have decided that trans lives are not worthy of protection and that fear mongering takes priority to ensure re-election.
“During the first special session’s hearing of the anti-transgender sports bills, SB 2 and SB 32, senators crossed a line with invasive questions and manipulative tactics. They repeatedly asked parents of vulnerable children about their kids’ genitals, they patronized young people of color, abruptly dismissed witnesses, interrupted and talked over advocates, or were simply not paying attention. Lawmakers showed up with one goal: to serve up misinformation and to disregard the truth in favor of amplifying transphobia.
“Many parents have shared with us that because of the abuse at those hearings their families have experienced acute trauma. Parents of transgender kids have told us about children who have lost significant weight due to anxiety and worry about these bills, children who have had to see doctors, and children who are self-harming because the Texas Legislature repeatedly chooses to debate their very right to exist or paint them as a danger to their peers. This rhetoric creates an incredibly dangerous climate for transgender youth, and all transgender Texans.
“There are families planning to leave Texas because of the clear and present danger this debate has on children. These rhetoric-fueled hearings have sparked a staggering increase in anti-LGBTQ+ bullying incidents across Texas. To make the situation even more dire, calls from Texas to the Transgender Lifeline crisis center increased 71.6% in May alone at the peak of the debate on these bills. These bills harm transgender and nonbinary people — kids and adults alike.
“Equality Texas encourages our advocates to boycott today’s hearing. People should not show up to the committee hearing to plead for their safety only to be ignored yet again. Instead, we will hold a press conference at noon and elevate the voices of those who, up to this point, have survived this unrelenting assault on our community.”
In the words of Charlie Apple, a young Texan who has been fighting these bills the entirety of 2021, “I have sat through many Senate and House sessions where elected officials seek to debate whether the transgender children under their jurisdiction are worthy of their protection. And to be frank, I am tired. I am tired of begging for my own dignity in front of representatives that seek to ostracize me.”
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 Equality Texas Foundation works to secure full equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer Texans through education, community organizing, and collaboration.