There is pain and outrage in our hearts because Texas Governor Greg Abbott has escalated the attacks on transgender people living in his state, especially trans youth, by equating medical care with child abuse. Governor Abbott is weaponizing this basic right of care for trans youth and their families. He is seeking to criminalize the healthcare support they may receive from their community and allies. And he is part of setting a dangerous precedent for other states to target trans children and their caregivers.
Earlier this week, Governor Abbott urged the public and medical professionals to “report” the parents of trans youth if they are receiving care and directed that state’s Department of Family and Protective Services to investigate trans minors undergoing treatment. In short, he is making a patently untrue and unjust claim that trans youth who are receiving support and gender-affirming medical care are experiencing “child abuse.” His directives are an offense to everyone’s humanity, and he is attempting to criminalize trans allies for helping trans youth access the human right to healthcare.
Governor Abbot’s direction will only spread fear and misinformation. A parent or guardian who is taking their child to a health care provider to offer gender-affirming care is providing love and support. As President Susan Frederick-Gray stated:
I want to make it abundantly clear that I am reaffirming my solidarity with my trans friends, family, and neighbors, all of whom are harmed by the words and actions of Texas Governor Greg Abbott…We value diversity of sexuality and gender and see it as a spiritual gift.
Gender-affirming care recognizes that every life is sacred and supports the well-being of trans youth. Implementing unsafe standards in communities is harmful to trans and non-binary youth and encourages prejudice and violence. Now is the time to express our solidarity with those experiencing the cruel impacts of the irresponsible action of Governor Abbott. Trans, non-binary, and gender non-conforming children in Texas and beyond deserve better.
As Unitarian Universalists, let us come together in solidarity at this critical moment in unequivocal support for trans children. We will continue to work unceasingly to create inclusive religious communities and for LGBTQIA+ justice and equity as a fundamental part of our faith tradition.
To our trans family: we uplift and support all the trans and non-binary people in our lives, our congregations, and communities. You are not alone. We hold trans children and their families—in Texas and in the world—in deep care.
For more resources, please visit Resources for Transgender Youth in Texas.