Trans Texans take stand against governor’s sick attempt to ‘destroy trans kids’ lives’

Texas' Greg Abbott.

Tens of thousands of people have taken a stand for trans youth after Texas governor Greg Abbott’s order attacking gender-affirming care.

A wave of online petitions have been set up in the past 24 hours that fight to protect trans youth from the damaging order, which calls for gender-affirming care to be prosecuted as “child abuse”.

One such petition, signed by more than 20,000 people, calls on Abbott to “stop destroying transgender minor’s lives in Texas”.

It was set up by Jessica Ryan, 29, a trans woman who wrote in her petition that she “cannot stand by and watch this happen”.

“We cannot allow this to happen to our younger siblings,” she said. “People in power need to understand that being transgender is not a choice, it is not a mental illness and helping your child get treatment for gender dysphoria it is not abuse.”

Several petitions call on organisations to move their conferences out of the state, including the 2022 American School Counselor Association’s annual conference and the Gay World Series, and some are for healthcare workers to show their support for trans kids.

Abbott’s 22 February order demands that state agencies in Texas “conduct prompt and thorough investigations” of gender-affirming healthcare for trans youth, including surgeries (which are not routinely, if ever, accessible to under 18s) and puberty blockers.

He called this healthcare “abusive” and said officials who failed to report it could face jail time. The order also requires teachers, doctors and civilians to report parents of trans children to the authorities and says the parents should incur criminal penalties for supporting their trans kids.

Abbott’s order comes in the wake of Texas attorney general Ken Paxton calling trans healthcare “monstrous and tragic” and claiming it “remains medically impossible to truly change the sex of an individual because this is determined biologically at conception” – a statement Abbott said he agrees with.

Both men’s comments about trans healthcare align with the position of “gender critical” activists in the UK, who maintain that it is not possible to change sex.

Last year, Abbott and Paxton oversaw the implementation of a near-state-wide ban on abortion in Texas.

Trans healthcare saved my life, says trans person who signed online Texas petition

Andrew Huffman, a trans person who signed Jessica’s petition, commented: “I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: had I not received gender affirmation including but not limited to therapy, hormones, surgery, and community support, I would not be here.

“I love my trans elders, my trans peers who love and support me unconditionally, and I utterly adore trans kids. They are the future. They give me so much hope and inspiration, and they deserve the world.”

The petitions against this attack include: Stop Greg Abbot from destroying transgender minor’s lives in Texas; Prevent Greg Abbot from hurting transgender children further; Make Texas Governor Greg Abbott Repeal His Order To CPS; Health care workers support for transgender children in Texas; NAGAAA: You must move the gay World Series out of Dallas if you support trans rights; Ban the law against minors transitioning; Change the 2022 American School Counselor Association’s Annual Conference Location; Stop Texas from prosecuting parents of trans kids as child abusers; Stop Abbott from taking trans kids away from homes; Trans and female rights; Help get the state of Texas’ attention concerning trans rights.