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GLAAD, EQUALITY TEXAS, AND TRANSGENDER EDUCATION NETWORK OF TEXAS STATEMENT ON THE PASSAGE OF TEXAS’ DISCRIMINATORY BAN ON TRANSGENDER CHILDREN PARTICIPATING IN SCHOOL SPORTS
- Last updated: May 24, 2023
GLAAD, the world’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) media advocacy organization, released a joint statement today with Equality Texas and Transgender Education Network of Texas (TENT) on the passage of Texas’ ban on transgender children, kindergarten through 12th grade, participating in school sports on teams that align with their gender.
The bill now heads to the governor’s desk, after passing the state senate Sunday and passing the House on Thursday. GLAAD is calling on Governor Greg Abbott to veto the bill and prevent it from becoming law; Abbott has said previously he planned to sign it. Abbott’s signature will make Texas the 10th U.S. state to unfairly restrict access to school sports for transgender youth, joining Alabama, Arizona, Idaho, Florida, Mississippi, Montana, Tennessee, South Dakota, and West Virginia. Apart from Idaho, all of the states passed the laws in 2021.
Passage of the bill targeting transgender children and teens follows months of heartbreaking testimony from youth, their families, doctors, teachers, and more. Last week, more than five times as many Texans showed up in opposition than in favor of this discriminatory bill. A total of 76 anti-LGBTQ bills were proposed in Texas this year, with over 50 of those specifically targeting the rights of transgender kids and teens.
The bill’s passage falls during National Bullying Prevention Month, founded to raise awareness about and prevent aggressive, dangerous behavior against school-aged children. Research shows LGBTQ children are twice as likely to be bullied, leading to increased risk for violence, depression and suicidal ideation. Thursday (October 21st) is GLAAD Spirit Day, when millions of people around the world will wear purple or go purple online in a unified stand against bullying and to show support for LGBTQ youth.
STATEMENT FROM GLAAD
“This bill is state-sponsored harassment and targeting of transgender children, who deserve to learn, grow and have fun with their friends. Governor Abbott should listen to the experts here and veto this bill; every major medical association supports transgender children playing sports as their authentic selves, and hundreds of athletes at all levels support trans kids playing sports. Trans kids deserve our love, support and protection. Texas lawmakers are risking trans kids’ very lives and their states’ future, and they’re failing their kids today.” — Mary Emily O’Hara, GLAAD Rapid Response Manager (They/Them/Theirs)
STATEMENT FROM EQUALITY TEXAS:
“HB 25 singles out transgender kids and permanently prohibits them from the foundational opportunities that sports provide children, like camaraderie with friends and learning lessons about teamwork, sportsmanship, and healthy exercise. It is yet another attack in a long year that has already been the most harmful legislative year on record for LGBTQ+ Texans, with over 50 bills targeting their health, safety, and humanity. Throughout four traumatizing legislative sessions, we’ve seen increased requests for help from families facing anti-LGBTQ+ threats as a result of this hostile climate. The ‘debate’ over this anti-transgender bill is already exacerbating intolerance, fueling discrimination, and solidifying Texas’ reputation as the leading state for violence against trans people.” — Ricardo Martinez, Chief Executive Officer (He/Him/His)
STATEMENT FROM TRANSGENDER EDUCATION NETWORK OF TEXAS (TENT):
“Our hearts are broken seeing HB 25 pass in the state of Texas. Instead of focusing on legislation that would genuinely be of help to the people of Texas we saw our state leaders bully, belittle, and treat our most vulnerable Texans with cruelty and indifference. We will continue to fight for and stand with trans children and their families. We know that we stand on the right side of history in affirming, supporting, and loving our kids and no law passed by out of touch lawmakers can take that away.” — Emmett Schelling, Executive Director (He/Him/His)
- A majority of Texas residents favor nondiscrimination protections for LGBTQ people.
- Calls, texts and other crisis contacts to The Trevor Project reached nearly 11,000 in the first 8 months of the year with nearly 40% coming from trans and nonbinary youth. Crisis contacts in Texas are 150% above last year.
- Five transgender Texans are among the 38 trans people killed by violence this year. Most are Black and Brown trans women, including 21-year-old Kier Lapri Kartier in Arlington, Texas, last month.
- Major medical associations have issued statements supporting gender-affirming care for transgender youth and against bills seeking to criminalize it. /blog/medical-association-statements-supporting-trans-youth-healthcare-and-against-discriminatory
- At least 76 bills have been introduced in Texas targeting transgender children and their access to medical care, school restrooms, and school sports.
- Transgender children testified before the Texas legislature, returning repeatedly over the last several months. 8-year-old Sunny asked: “Why are you attacking me? I’m really great. I have lots of friends, I love to read and I love playing sports like soccer and gymnastics.”
- Lawmakers proposing bills in dozens of other states could not name an instance of trans participation being an issue in their states.
- States with bans have fewer girls participating in sports than states that include transgender children.
- Texas Competes, a coalition of more than 1,400 businesses in Texas and nationwide, warns of significant economic fallout from the passage of discriminatory bills, including lost investment opportunities, conventions and events pulled from the state, and difficulty attracting workers.
- The NCAA has said it would not host events in states that discriminate. Fort Worth and San Antonio are scheduled to host multiple games in the 2022 NCAA men’s basketball tournament.
About Equality Texas: 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.
About the Transgender Education Network of Texas: Transgender Education Network of Texas is the largest statewide, BIPOC trans-led, trans-focused policy, education, and advocacy organization in the state of Texas.
About GLAAD: GLAAD rewrites the script for LGBTQ acceptance. As a dynamic media force, GLAAD tackles tough issues to shape the narrative and provoke dialogue that leads to cultural change. GLAAD protects all that has been accomplished and creates a world where everyone can live the life they love. For more information, please visit www.glaad.org or connect with GLAAD on Facebook and Twitter.
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