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For Immediate Release: Texans Deserve Better — United Against Anti-Trans Legislation
Posted on April 28, 2021 at 4:09 pm

TEXAS WOMEN URGE LAWMAKERS TO REJECT BILLS THAT FALSELY CLAIM TO PROTECT WOMEN AND GIRLS IN SPORTS AND TO REJECT ALL DANGEROUS ANTI-TRANS LEGISLATION THAT CRIMINALIZES PARENTS AND DOCTORS AND PUTS CHILDREN’S LIVES AT RISK

 

April 28, 2021-AUSTIN, TEXAS- Texas women from across the state of Texas — including religious leaders, mothers, grandmothers, women, lawmakers, parents, and kids from across the political spectrum — gathered on the South Steps of the Capitol to urge lawmakers to once again reject efforts to pass unnecessary, harmful and discriminatory legislation.

In the newest attempt to erode support for equal rights in Texas, lawmakers are directly targeting transgender youth, putting them under a harmful spotlight via two types of dangerous legislation.

  • Multiple medical care bans would criminalize or otherwise ban age-appropriate, evidence-based, private, lifesaving care for transgender teens. This care is thoughtfully crafted in consultation with medical experts, parents/guardians, and transgender youth. Some of these bills would enable the state to take children away from their families. All of these bills are opposed by every credible medical association, including the AMA. These include HB 68, HB 1399, HB 2693/SB 1311, and HB 4014/SB 1646.
  • Sports bans would ban transgender girls from participating on sports teams, isolating them and blocking them from the friendship, belonging, teamwork, and health benefits of sports. These include HB 1458, HB 3455, HB 4042/SB 29, HB 4043, and SB 373.

The American Medical Association (AMA) released a letter this week urging governors to oppose legislation that would prohibit medically necessary gender transition-related care, calling such efforts “a dangerous intrusion into the practice of medicine.” In a letter to the National Governors Association, the AMA stated unequivocally that transgender and non-binary gender identities are “normal variations of human identity and expression,” and that blocking gender-affirming care can have tragic consequences. “We believe it is inappropriate and harmful for any state to legislatively dictate that certain transition-related services are never appropriate and limit the range of options physicians and families may consider when making decisions for pediatric patients.”

“This rally really emphasizes that all communities are stronger together. With all these sports bans targeting transgender women, we want to show that cisgender women do not view transgender teammates as threats but are outraged at the idea of ‘protecting cis women’ being used as a shield to attack trans women, when an attack against one woman is an attack against all women,” said Emmett Schelling, Executive Director of Transgender Education Network of Texas (TENT).

The rally featured Texan and ultra-runner Heather Gothard, a cisgender young woman who was recently harassed online by a man accusing her of being transgender and ineligible to run. Heather noted, “I take issue with the men in that building trying to put the force of law behind these people to go after us, to humiliate and harass us, to question our accomplishments, and to try to bully us out of the sports we love. I stand with all women — including transgender women — in saying that this policing of our bodies, our appearances, our accomplishments, and our strength, needs to stop. We didn’t ask for your interference or your protection. What I want is for you to leave us alone.”

Transgender teens, young adults, and medical professionals spoke, noting that healthcare is proven to save young lives and any attack on such healthcare is dangerous.

In addition to unanimous opposition from national and statewide medical associations, opposition to both categories of bills include business leaders, religious leaders, women athletes, and many high-profile Texas born celebrities.

WNBA star and native Texan Brianna Turner recently wrote in an op-ed: “Politicians are using our names and identities once again to go after a vulnerable group of kids who just want to feel safe and included…Ask any girl or woman who is fast, strong or tall: We all have stories about people commenting about our appearance — maybe even saying we look ‘too masculine’ …(lawmakers are) sending a message to fans and spectators that they have the right to harass any girl about her appearance when she’s playing a sport.”

“Texas women like Kacey Musgraves, Selena Gomez, Eva Longoria have all partnered with GLAAD to speak up against anti-LGBTQ bills in their home state. These leading Texans have something in common with Americans nationwide who overwhelmingly oppose discriminatory legislation like anti-trans sports bans and healthcare bans. They don’t support state attacks on trans youth, and they see right through attempts to cloak discrimination under a guise of promoting women’s rights.” — Mary Emily O’Hara, Rapid Response Manager at GLAAD.

   #imatexantoo #letthemplay #letkidsplay #texansdeservebetter

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