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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Equality Texas responds to Governor Greg Abbott adding anti-trans legislation to the call
Posted on July 7, 2021 at 1:51 pm

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

EQUALITY TEXAS RESPONDS TO GOVERNOR GREG ABBOTT ADDING ANTI-TRANS LEGISLATION TO THE CALL

Angela Hale, Equality Texas, 512.289.2995 angela.hale@equalitytexas.org

Austin, Texas – July 7, 2021– Equality Texas, the largest statewide organization solely dedicated to securing full equality for LGBTQ+ Texans, responded today to Governor Greg Abbott adding anti-trans legislation to the call for a special session. 2021 has been the worst year for LGBTQ+ state legislative attacks across the country and in Texas as an unprecedented number of anti-LGBTQ+ bills — especially bills targeting transgender children — were filed. These bills represent a cruel effort to further stigmatize and discriminate against LGBTQ+ youth across the country.

“We are incredibly disappointed that fictitious emergencies are once again being prioritized over critical issues that impact everyday Texans like the power grid and access to affordable health care. Anti-trans legislation which blocks transgender youth from normal school activities does nothing but send a message to bullies that it is okay to attack and humiliate transgender kids and normalizes bias and discrimination against transgender people (adults and kids alike). Texas law defines bullying as a single significant act or a pattern of acts by one or more persons directed at another that exploits an imbalance of power and further defines the behavior as sufficiently severe, persistent, or [and] pervasive enough that the action or threat creates an intimidating, threatening, or abusive educational environment for a student. These bills constitute government sanctioned bullying — and trans kids, trans adults and the people who love them are paying the price,” said Ricardo Martinez, CEO of Equality Texas.

Transgender, nonbinary, and gender non-conforming students are already at greater risk in school. The political climate has only increased these risks. Since the nationally coordinated attacks on transgender youth by state legislatures began, we have seen a marked increase of bullying against transgender youth and negative effects on the mental health of trans youth due to a disrespectful and uneducated public debate about trans people.

“My teenage son came close to needing hospitalization. He is supported at home, but knowledge of what was transpiring in Austin caused stress and depression we have never seen in him before. He began cutting, and stopped eating almost entirely. He lost almost twenty pounds over the course of only a couple of months, from a weight that was already slender. We are only now starting to see him eat without coaxing and display some measure of his former self,” said Quinn, parent of a transgender son, from Houston, TX.

Martinez concluded, “Families of trans/nonbinary/intersex children should not be creating contingency plans to leave Texas or be forced to watch their children suffer the detrimental effects of anxiety and fear associated with the debate around these bills. Parents are depending on our leaders to protect every child in the state of Texas and not use them as political football.”

 

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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 Equality Texas Foundation works to secure full equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer Texans through education, community organizing, and collaboration.