FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: EQUALITY TEXAS RELEASES STATEMENT ON BOYCOTT OF SB 3 HEARING AND ALTERNATE DEMONSTRATION
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Angela Hale | firstname.lastname@example.org | 512-289-2995
THE TEXAS SENATE CONTINUES TO FAST TRACK AND PRIORITIZE ANTI-TRANSGENDER LEGISLATION DESPITE UNEQUIVOCAL EVIDENCE OF HARM CAUSED TO TRANSGENDER KIDS AND THEIR FAMILIES.
Crisis counselors have fielded over 14,500 calls, texts, and online messages from young LGBTQ Texans looking for support in the last year.
Austin, Texas – September 20, 2021 – Equality Texas, the largest statewide organization solely dedicated to securing full equality for LGBTQ+ Texans, announces boycott of SB3 hearing. Ricardo Martinez (he/him), Chief Executive Officer of Equality Texas, released the following statement:
“We cannot in good faith ask trans people, trans children, their loving families, and community advocates to participate in the political theatre of the Texas Senate. We have watched the immediate effects of trauma manifest in our advocates as a result of their participation in Senate hearings this year. Numbness, detachment, anxiety, fear, sadness, restlessness, and despair have been commonly experienced by LGBTQ+ community members who have testified during this year’s Senate hearings. These feelings are a direct result of the invasive questions and manipulative tactics used by committee members and the bullying of anti-LGBTQ+ activists. During the most cruel hearing, which took place early in the second-called special session, Senators repeatedly asked parents about their kids’ genitals, 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.”
Chairwoman Kolkhorst was the author of the 2017 bathroom bill, Senator Perry has filed more anti-transgender legislation this year than any other lawmaker, and Senator Hall filed one of the most dangerous bills we’ve seen this year which would make it illegal for counselors to even treat children with gender dysphoria.
We are appalled 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.
“In the last month, due to the public debate about the humanity of trans people, we have seen a continued and worrisome increase in incidents being reported to Equality Texas. Most recently, a transgender middle schooler, whose family just moved to Austin, attempted to take her own life after being bullied by a classmate about her gender identity, a WFISD high school was reported to have pressured teachers to turn over names of students wishing to use names and pronouns other than the ones on their enrollment forms, a pansexual freshman in Royse City and her group of friends were approached at lunch by a fellow student who read anti-gay scripture to them and proceeded to spray them with “holy water” in an effort to make them feel their sexualities and gender identities were disgraceful, and lastly, a cisgender woman physically assaulted a trans woman at a convenience store in Houston. The attack was proceeded by transphobic, xenophobic, and racist slurs. These debates have perpetuated divisiveness, fortified a culture of discrimination, and placed a target on the backs of marginalized communities. We will have no part in another one.”
Instead of participating in the Senate hearing, community advocates will rally at the Capitol at noon.
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.