Texas governor wants to ‘end’ trans teachers expressing their gender identity at school

Greg Abott speaking at a legislative session.

Texas’ Republican governor, Greg Abbott, is yet again showing his disdain for trans rights after saying he wants to “end” trans teachers expressing their identity in the classroom.

The anti-LGBTQ+ politician said he wanted to stop teachers from expressing their gender identity at work after claiming he had heard of “that type of behaviour” at a local school.

Speaking at a Young Conservatives conference on Friday (19 April), Abbot said he read a report from a teacher who he said “was a man who would go to school dressed as a woman in a dress.”

He claimed that the teacher in Lewisville, Texas, was somehow distracting students by expressing their gender identity, adding that he believed “this type of behaviour is not OK.”

“What do you think is going through the mind of the students that’s in that classroom?” he said. “Are they focusing on the subject that this person is trying to teach? I don’t know.

“What I do know are these two things: One, this person, a man, dressing as a woman, in a public high school in the state of Texas, he’s trying to normalise the concept that this type of behaviour is OK.”

You may like to watch

He finished his speech saying that he and the Texas GOP were trying to “end” gender identity expression in school through legislation.

Human rights organisations express concern over Greg Abbott’s anti-LGBTQ bills

Lawmakers in Texas have already begun repealing vital rights for LGBTQ+ people across the state, including through a gender-affirming care ban for under-18s and restrictions on trans athletes in competitive sports.

Abbott, who was elected state governor in 2014, had spearheaded these reforms in a campaign of anti-LGBTQ+ repeals.

Anti-LGBTQ+ bills in Texas have become so severe that human rights groups in the area have petitioned the United Nations to address the legislative discrimination on display.

Greg Abbott Speaking during a guest spot at CPAC.
Greg Abbott Speaking during a guest spot at CPAC. (Getty)

A collection of humanitarian organisations, including Equality Texas, the ACLU of Texas, GLAAD, and the Human Rights Campaign, urged the UN to “raise alarm about the deteriorating human rights situation” in Texas in an open letter published in January.

“In 2023, the Texas Legislature targeted the LGBTQIA+ community through hostile laws that have disrupted, or will disrupt, the ability of LGBTQIA+ persons to effectuate their rights,” the letter reads.

The organisations point to seven anti-LGBTQ+ bills, including a bill that prohibit universities from maintaining diversity programs and another that allows school districts to employ “religious chaplains” to give guidance to students, as evidence of the state’s animosity for the community.

“Taken individually, the seven pieces of legislation discussed in this submission will disrupt the lives of LGBTQIA+ people of various ages and backgrounds,” it continues. “Put together, the Bills are a systemic attack on the fundamental rights, dignities, and identities of LGBTQIA+ persons.

In response to the open letter, Greg Abbott wrote in a post on X/Twitter: “The UN can go pound sand“.