ICYMI: Houston Chronicle & National Medical, Education and Mental Health Organizations Condemn Anti-transgender Measures in Texas and Across Country

by Henry Berg-Brousseau

American Academy of Pediatrics, Texas Pediatric Society, Texas State Teachers Association, National Education Association, National Association of Social Workers and Others React to Governor Abbott’s Attack on Transgender Youth

In the wake of discriminatory attacks on trans youth in state legislatures across the country — including the unprecedented move earlier this week by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott directing Texas’s Department of Family and Protective Services to consider best-practice, age-appropriate, medically-necessary, gender-affirming care for transgender children as child abuse — parents of transgender young people and national organizations – including medical, education, and mental health organizations – are speaking out against anti-trans policies Texas and across the country.

South Dakota has already passed one anti-transgender law this year, and Alabama, Arizona, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Missouri, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Utah, and Wisconsin are on the verge of passing anti-transgender bills in the coming days. Additionally, Florida is considering two bills that more broadly impact all LGBTQ+ youth. These bills are the result of a concerted effort by right-wing extremists and organizations like Steve Bannon and the American Principles Project, that have been battling against progress for LGBTQ+ people for years

Houston Chronicle: Abbott and Paxton, don't threaten parents of trans kids and their doctors:

“[Abbott, Paxton are]hurting the children by threatening doctors and parents, and also offending the sensibilities of any Texan who still believes in personal freedom and limited government. There’s nothing more personal than health decisions affecting one’s own body and nothing more worthy of condemnation than government’s intrusion on those decisions.

Physicians Oppose Texas Efforts to Interfere in the Patient-Physician Relationship and Criminalize Gender-Affirming Care:

“Our organizations, representing nearly 600,000 physicians and medical students, strongly oppose efforts, in Texas or anywhere else, to criminalize gender-affirming care… Patients, including youth, must be able to discuss gender affirming care with their trusted physician to determine together what care is best for them.”

American Academy of Pediatrics, Texas Pediatric Society Oppose Actions in Texas Threatening Health of Transgender Youth:

"Pediatricians are trusted by parents to provide the care their children need to be healthy and thrive. What is happening in Texas directly undermines the care pediatricians provide their patients. This harmful directive leaves families seeking gender-affirming care in Texas with nowhere to turn. Pediatricians could be investigated for child abuse by simply providing evidence-based, medically necessary services. Gender affirming care is not abuse. Politics has no place in the exam room. All children deserve access to the care they need."

Texas State Teachers Association and National Education Association Presidents jointly respond to Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s attack on transgender students:

No parent should worry that their child’s gender-affirming – and sometimes lifesaving – care is criminalized because of bigotry and misinformation. By stoking fear, Gov. Abbott is attempting to distract and divide us so we will not notice his failures to provide what our students and families need – inclusive, safe, and fully resourced schools”

National Association of Social Workers Condemns Efforts to Redefine Child Abuse to Include Gender-Affirming Care:

The continued attempts in Texas to change the definition of child abuse are in direct opposition to social work values, principles, and Code of Ethics and pose an imminent danger to transgender youth and their families. Furthermore, these shameful actions undermine the established truth supported by every credible medical and mental health organization in the country that the concepts of sexual orientation and gender identity are real and irrefutable components of one’s individual identity.

What is transpiring in Texas is tragically only part of a larger anti-LGBTQ+ movement taking place across the nation that is directly aimed at limiting the rights and freedoms of LGBTQ+ people, with a heightened emphasis on the erasure of the human rights and civil liberties of transgender and gender-expansive people. There are more than 266 anti-LGBTQ+ bills under consideration in state legislatures across the country. NASW stands against all efforts to limit the fundamental civil liberties of transgender youth and their access to essential health services.

Bishop C. Andrew "Andy" Doyle of the Episcopal Diocese of Texas

“There is no requirement for anyone to report the existence of trans kids or their parents in one of our Episcopal Churches or schools. The gov’s statement has no force of law. ALL people are welcome in churches of the Episcopal Diocese of Texas without fear - we offer only love.”

Position Statement of the Ray E. Helfer Society On Gender Affirming Care Being Considered Child Abuse and Neglect:

“The provision of medical and mental health care, consistent with the standard of care, is in no way consistent with our definitions of child abuse. The medical and mental health evaluation and management of these youth would be in no way enhanced, and likely harmed, by the involvement of a state child protection agency. We advocate for appropriate, scientifically sound medical care for transgender youth and resolutely oppose subjecting their families to threats of involvement in the child protection system or their medical providers to civil or criminal penalties merely for providing optimal treatment to these vulnerable youth.”

I’m the mother of a trans son in Texas — and no, I’m not a ‘child abuser’:

“For years, I’ve been begging people to pay attention to what’s happening to trans children. But these precious kids, who are literally fighting for their lives, have been ignored. The result? An escalation both in the number of bills filed in states across the country — 79 anti-trans measures in 2020, 147 in 2021 and roughly 280 (so far) on track to be filed in state legislatures in 2022 — and in the cruelty of the content: putting parents in an impossible situation by forcing them to choose between providing medically necessary, lifesaving care, or facing the threat that their children will be taken from them.

This Texas mom says she's moving her family to California to protect her transgender daughter:

“The general feeling (in Texas) is just constant fear. I'm always worried… and I see the way people react to us which is why Texas hasn't really ever felt safe...it's just time for us to get out and I want to be somewhere there are actually laws in the books that protect her instead of trying to erase her.

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