Texas church launches non-profit to help transgender minors access healthcare

A Texas judge has granted a temporary injunction against the state's ban on gender-affirming care for trans youth.

A church in North Texas has launched a new non-profit to help the families of transgender and gender-diverse minors access the healthcare they need out of state.

It follows the introduction of Senate Bill 14, which bans transgender people under the age of 18 from accessing gender-affirming care like puberty blockers and hormone therapies, and prosecuting and medical providers caught offering this care to minors.

After the bill, which was signed into law at the beginning of June’s pride month, took effect in August, Fort Worth’s Galileo Church got to work on their non-profit program: The North Texas TRANSportation Network (NTTN).

NTTN will raise money to help fund travel for families of children who need access to an out-of-state doctor.

To qualify for access to the NTTN, families must simply be based within the North Texas region and have a child who is transgender or gender-diverse and seeking healthcare.

In order to preserve a family’s medical privacy, the NTTN will not ask families for “proof” of medical care.

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Families eligible for the grant will receive $1,000 up to two times per calendar year, per transgender minor in need of healthcare.

The grant may be used for any costs related to out-of-state travel, including gas, food, accommodation, medical appointments, prescriptions, or income replacement.

The church acknowledged on the NTTN website that, while $1,000 is likely not enough to cover all expenses included in an out-of-state trip for healthcare, they “hope it is a substantial help.”

Noting that there are around 30,000 transgender minors in the state of Texas, accounting for 10 per cent of the trans minor population in the US, the NTTN stated that they hope to “serve as many families as they can”, hence why the grants are “generous, but not comprehensive.”

Rally in Minnesota., Texas in support of transgender youth
SB14 prevents transgender minors from accessing gender-affirming care. (Getty)

NTTN’s website has reassured both donors and hopeful recipients that the travel assistance they are providing is completely legal, as SB14 does not prevent people from accessing care outside of the state, nor neighbours from assisting each other to travel for care.

Speaking about the decision to set up the non-profit, the NTTN’s executive director, Cynthia Daniels, explained that she was heartbroken when SB14 passed.

“I’m a mother, I have three kids and I have always been able to get the healthcare for my kids that they desperately needed,” she told CBS News.

“So, to me it’s just being a good neighbour to a group of people who have been selected to not be able to receive their healthcare and to me that’s devastating.”

Since launching, the NTTN has received two applications from families and has received enough funding to help one of those families.

100 per cent of all donations made to the organisation go directly to families.

The Galileo Church says in its mission statement that it is working toward “justice for LGBTQ+ humans, and support the people who love them.”

“We believe that God, through Christ, has welcomed all to God’s heart. Period,” the church says on its website.

“We want our society to reflect that, so we rally in Dallas or lobby in Austin or parade in Fort Worth or whatever it takes to get it done.

“We announce ongoing justice work through social media – FB, Twitter, Insta – because we’re light on our feet, just trying to keep up in a world that can be suddenly and seriously hostile to LGBTQ+ beloveds.”