In the past few weeks, anti-trans rhetoric in Texas has increased. Republican Gov. Greg Abbott ordered state child welfare officials to launch child abuse investigations into reports of transgender kids receiving gender-affirming care.

The legal battle came months after state legislators failed to pass a broader bill on transition-related medical care for these youth, including gender-affirming care that is widely accepted by leading health groups. 

In October 2021, the Texas legislature approved a bill barring transgendered girls from playing on girls’ sports teams and vice versa. The law went into effect in January. Sixty-five high-powered global businesses, including Apple, Google, Microsoft and PayPal,  called on Abbott to abandon the state’s anti-LGBTQ+ initiatives.

Some parents are on the edge and are terrified about the outcomes that put a major mental toll on their families.

Here is a sample of the conversation happening on social media:

“I’ve never met a human that was not deserving of love, connection and belonging. …Transgender youth are under attack. Gay and queer youth are under attack. Parents and providers who support trans youth are under attack. In a land where we insist we are better than the rest of the world (I’m just repeating what some folks say) because of our unique focus on freedom and liberty this is not just hypocritical but it’s unacceptable. Laws targeting teachers and banning them from mentioning gender identity or sexual orientation are really laws to marginalize and intimidate an entire population of people who are LGBTQ or allies. Moreover, just like with the attacks on fake-CRT in schools and dressed up anti-diversity efforts, so-called leaders are using the education system as a vehicle.” – 

 Kori S. Carew

“These bills are 100% anti-gay/anti-trans. Make no mistake — preventing kids from learning and talking about sexuality or receiving gender-affirming treatments WILL COST LIVES. The suicide rates among LGBTQ+ teens are over three times higher than among their straight peers. Talking about gender and sexuality does not confuse children, “convert” them, or any other nonsense. It just creates individuals who are aware that we all exist on a spectrum of genders and sexualities, and it gives them the words to describe their own experiences and identities. This is not about politics. It is about human rights and creating space where we can all live safely. We need to use our votes to demand that our politicians do better.” – Gabby Crawford

“Anytime you share a different opinion, you are either racist or “anti” something. Just because he is looking out for the mental and physical health and well-being of children not old enough to make life altering decisions doesn’t make him anti LGBTQ.” – Kim Butt

“Why on earth does this become an issue with big tech? Instead of investing in “trans” children reassigning their gender they should be [putting] their resources into the mental health issues of these children. There are so many factors which contribute to the decision that they are in the wrong body which are being ignored by these social justice warriors. “- Susan Smith

“[Gov. Abbott] has so many more important things, real issues and real problems to fix. And this is his legacy to Texas. Homophobia, transphobia and infringing on human rights.” – Phyliss C.

“Don’t y’all need to worry about the power grid in Texas and not what goes on between someone else and their doctor? I guess everything is bigger in Texas, including ignorance.” – Joseph Kaiser

Laura Onyeneho

I cover Houston's education system as it relates to the Black community for the Defender as a Report for America corps member. I'm a multimedia journalist and have reported on social, cultural, lifestyle,...