Texas Looking to Follow North Carolina’s Shameful Lead in Targeting Transgender People

Hundreds of transgender Texans, alongside their families, friends, and colleagues, gathered in Austin on Tuesday to testify against Senate Bill 6 — a bill targeting transgender individuals.

The measure, which passed the out of the Senate State Affairs Committee after a hearing that went through the night, closely resembles North Carolina’s controversial law, HB 2, which was passed last year after a one-day special session. The central purpose of the bill, like North Carolina’s, is to expel transgender people from common restrooms in schools and other public buildings.

Even though the proposed law has been condemned by businesses; major sports organizations, including the National Football League; and the hundreds of transgender individuals and their families who came out to testify in opposition, the measure advanced out of committee propelled by dangerous myths about transgender people.

Supporters of the bill claim it is necessary to protect women and children, but the experience of schools, cities, states, medical experts, domestic violence prevention groups and women’s organizations across the country has shown these measures do nothing to protect women and children.

Indeed, by expelling transgender people from public life and sending the message to transgender youth that they are unfit to share space with their peers, laws and policies like Texas’s SB6 contribute to the disproportionately high rates of harassment, bullying, and violence that transgender individuals — particularly transgender women and girls of color — face.

Plain and simple: mandating discrimination against transgender people protects no one.

And these bills aren’t really about protecting people. At their core, measures like SB6 are predicated on a belief that transgender individuals are not real, that we are “confused” and “troubled” and simply incompatible with the social order. Animated by this idea, the bills attempt to — and often succeed at — pushing transgender students out of school and all transgender people out of public life.

But as a group of unions representing millions of teachers across the country explained in a brief to the Supreme Court in support of transgender teenager Gavin Grimm, “Transgender people cannot be wished away. Being transgender is not a fad. It is innate; not a choice.” Given this, the brief continues, “most educators and education policy makers understand that schools work best when they fully welcome transgender students into the educational community.”

There is such simplicity to this idea, which we have learned time and time again in our history — discrimination hurts us all.

Unfortunately, though, the movement on SB6 is just the latest in a series of setbacks over the past few weeks in the fight for transgender justice.

Wednesday morning’s committee vote in Austin came less than two days after the Supreme Court sent Gavin Grimm’s landmark transgender rights case back to a lower court to reconsider his win in a years-long fight just to use the restroom at his school. The court’s action was tied to the Trump administration’s decision last month to rescind guidance documents that had been issued by the Obama Departments of Education and Justice clarifying protections for transgender students under Title IX, the federal law banning sex discrimination in schools.

Neither the Supreme Court’s action in Gavin’s case nor the Trump administration rescission of the guidance changes the law or the legal protections that transgender students enjoy under Title IX and the Constitution. But they do send a disturbing message to the transgender young people who are just trying to go to school and survive — that they are unworthy of the same dignity and respect as their peers and should be ashamed of who they are.

Thankfully, though, those cruel messages are being drowned out by the growing and stronger messages of love and support.

Reflecting on the “two crazy, stressful, busy, breathtaking, rewarding, beautiful, fantastic years” that he has been fighting his case, Gavin Grimm wrote on Tuesday:

“[Today] I stand stronger and prouder than ever. I stand not only with my family and friends, but with millions of supporters who stand with me. I stand with so many wonderful people at the A.C.L.U. that I proudly call my family. I know now what I did not know then; I will be fine. Regardless of what obstacles come before me, regardless of what hatred or ignorance or discrimination I face, I will be fine, because I have love on my side.”

The fight for transgender justice is “bigger than me,” Gavin concluded. “It is for all trans youth who are in school or one day will be. It is for the friends and loved ones of these youth, who want these children to be happy and healthy, rather than at risk and in danger as so many trans people are.”

With yet another front in the fight for transgender justice emerging in Texas, Gavin’s call to defend the rights of transgender youth to be happy and healthy should mobilize us to act.

It is time to #showup4transyouth in Texas and around the country. To #StandWithGavin is to carry this fight on until no transgender person fears violence or discrimination just because of who they are.

Add a comment (74)
Read the Terms of Use

Anonymous

There is something wrong with a man thinking he is a woman or a woman thinking she is a man. It is mutilation with dangerous hormones. Most transexuals were sexually abused in childhood which messed up their minds and transexuals sexually abuse children. Transexuals are mutilated gays and lesbians. I don’t care what others say but mutilating a man or woman to make them fake members of opposite sex is gay/lesbian. And gay/lesbian groups are apologists for Transexuals which is why the word T is there. They must abolish this surgical mutilation.

All transexuals are homosexual/lesbian as the act of mutilating to become false opposite sex is itself an act of homosexuality/lesbianism-sad maiming and make this illegal. Finally, sex change maimings which is mutilating some1 to make them fake members of opposite sex is comparable to trying to make a man a fake animal because he thinks he is an animal trapped in a human body. Most feminists are not speaking against this. 1 would hope that feminists would oppose the mutilation that happened to Chastity Sun Bono as feminists have spoken against Female Genital Mutilation which happens in some nations. Transexuals are mutilations which no Dr. should take part in, yet most feminists are not condemning this female genital and breast mutilation as what happened to Chastity S. Bono where her healthy breasts were mutilated, dangerous hormone shots and her genitals mutilated.

Thomas Hart

Social science research indicates that gender identity isn't black and white; there are more than two genders in this world; and gender identity doesn't have anything to do with sexual orientation. Any intro to anthropology class would tell you that.

Zoe Brain

"Transsexuals are mutilations" is one view. Others of the same ilk:

" "All transsexuals rape women’s bodies by reducing the real female form to an artifact, and appropriating this body for themselves. "

The transsexually constructed lesbian-feminist feeds off woman’s true energy source, i.e. her woman-identified self. It is he who recognises that if female spirit, mind, creativity and sexuality exist anywhere in a powerful way it is here, among lesbian-feminists

I contend that the problem with transsexualism would best be served by morally mandating it out of existence"

Another view, this time not a political, religious or ideological opinion, but a summary of fact:

Sexual Hormones and the Brain: An Essential Alliance for Sexual Identity and Sexual Orientation Garcia-Falgueras A, Swaab DF Endocr Dev. 2010;17:22-35

The fetal brain develops during the intrauterine period in the male direction through a direct action of testosterone on the developing nerve cells, or in the female direction through the absence of this hormone surge. In this way, our gender identity (the conviction of belonging to the male or female gender) and sexual orientation are programmed or organized into our brain structures when we are still in the womb. However, since sexual differentiation of the genitals takes place in the first two months of pregnancy and sexual differentiation of the brain starts in the second half of pregnancy, these two processes can be influenced independently, which may result in extreme cases in trans-sexuality. This also means that in the event of ambiguous sex at birth, the degree of masculinization of the genitals may not reflect the degree of masculinization of the brain. There is no indication that social environment after birth has an effect on gender identity or sexual orientation

Anonymous

I just wanted to debunk your post. Most transexuals have not been sexually abused during their childhood. I know that for a fact I know some transexuals and they haven't been abused I'm transexual and I haven't been abused I was raised pretty well. And if your transexual it doesn't mean your technically gay/lesbian I know some transexual guys FTM who are dating girls and some transexual girls MTF who are dating guys and they are straight they just transitioned their gender to be the gender they identified as. But yeah nice try spreading lies and I hope more rights for transgenders get spread to the USA even after I leave the country to the one I plan to move to :)

Anonymous

You seem to have a pathological obsession with this issue and just repeat the same things over and over, so I sense it's pointless trying to argue. But to anyone else reading this, for one, no, not all "transexuals" are "homosexual/lesbian." You don't get to define other people's sexual orientations for them. Many trans people undergo no "mutilation" whatsoever. You're doing a disservice to actual victims of mutilation. Also, just FYI, when a person, even a trans person, legally changes their name, that becomes their name.

Anonymous

If you really really really really hate transexuals/transgender people then why did you even come to this article? Is it because you wanted to be the troll you are and get your little hate comment at the top of the comments section? Feminists haven't spoken up about the transgender topic because it's not a major issue theres some feminists that do oppose it but I don't think a majority of them do I apologize if I'm wrong I don't follow their movement at this moment of time. They will never abolish the sex change operation no matter what and even if they do from the united states of america they still got it in other countries and some people from the other countries might come to the states and I'm sure congress won't impose a ban on transgender people and even if it does happen I'm sure a judge will fight it like the trump travel ban case. I'm sure your gonna keep saying your comment over and over even though everything you posted is all lies. Sex changes should stay legal in the states this feels like back when white people didn't want black people to have rights in my opinion. You can agree with me or not on that but it feels exactly just like it did 100 years ago now it's about people wanting to transition genders instead of people being different race. The hormone shots are not mutilated I have no idea where you trolls get this idea that it is but it isn't I know many people who transitioned before from male to female and they transitioned perfectly and haven't had a single problem. Some people I know transitioned before 18 but plan to get the bottom surgery after their 18th birthday and some transitioned after college like I plan to soon as I'm allowed to start hormone therapy. It would be very rare for somebody to wanna transition back to their original gender when they transition and I'm sure someone will bring up the oh but what if the transexual woman goes into the womans restroom and rape woman and harm our daughters? Trust me they won't the people who try are just protesters and idiots trying to defame the real transexual people who just wanna goto the bathroom in bathrooms they identify as. And lastly transgender people been going to the bathroom with people for over 50 years and no one said a word it only became an issue when obama pushed it which I'm glad he did now everyones freaking out saying OMG THIS IS A NEW THING but it isn't it's been around for decades the majority of the americans just didn't noticed till now. Everyone can tell me being transgender is mutilating your body or your mentally ill till your blue to the face but I'm still transitioning genders from male to female even if you like it or not.

Laura Watson

I see why you prefer to remain anonymous. Your incoherent, ill- informed, rant would embarrass anyone.

PattyM

"Anonymous", there is so much wrong with your post that its hard to know how to reply. Let's start here:

Paragraph 1. Someone thinking he is a woman or thinking she is a man. Let's get philosophical for a moment. What IS a man? What IS a woman? Aren't you more than a support system for your genitals? If you are human you have skills and talents. There are things and people you love and things that you hate.

Defining a person purely in terms of a bit of flesh is denying the person's humanity and worth. The fact is that trans people exist and no matter how much you wish we didn't that fact is not going to change.

"Transsexuals are mutilated gays and lesbians". Wrong. Sexual orientation, gender identity and anatomy are three distinctly different things. For the majority of people those three agree. For many others they do not. In the case of transgender people gender identity, the deeply held sense of who they are, does not match the other two. Gender identity is fixed early in life, before age three, and cannot be changed. There is no therapy or medication that can change that - and all sorts of treatments have been tried over the previous century.

No, transsexuals are not mutilated gays and lesbians. As I said, gender identity and sexual orientation are two different things. I transitioned thirty two years ago. Prior to that my attraction was only to women. Post genital surgery that remained so. I did not become a lesbian until after transition. That is hardly unique as there are many who would say the same thing.

"They must abolish this surgical mutilation." I get it that you don't understand that corrective surgery, to bring body into agreement with the mind is the only solution to this problem. Would you prefer that someone born with a cleft lip be denied corrective surgery? Transsexual corrective surgery is no different. Really.

When you say things like "They must abolish this surgical mutilation." what you are saying is that you think someone you've never met and know nothing about should live with depression and a fundamental discomfort just so you are comfortable. If you consider yourself a Christian perhaps you should take a look at the New Testament. Compassion and loving your neighbor are what Jesus taught.

WSmith

This is the wrong place to display your insecurities or to spew xenophobic vitriol. Here it will fall on deaf ears. So do your spewing in your church if that's where you learned it. Otherwise please try educating yourself. [Source: 64 year old married white male with three grown, heterosexual, non-trans daughters]

Anonymous

About me-I'm not religious, though I did go to Christian schools when as a boy (1970s)as we had immigrated to in 1972 & my parents believed Christian schools would give better education. Turns out 1 of the priests @ our school was a gay pedofile. I am not religious because among other things, if there's a God, then why do bad things happen in world ? All transexuals are homosexual/lesbian as the act of mutilating to become false opposite sex is itself an act of homosexuality/lesbianism-sad maiming and make this illegal.

Psychologists can be dishonest & deny what they know is true as we see with psychologists dishonesty on childhood sex abuse & homosexuality. If a child is repeatedly sexually abused, then it's more likely he will do gay activity in adulthood vs. if he wasn't. Since homosexuals and lesbians (transexuals) often suffered childhood sex abuse, no surprise that homosexuals and lesbians think childhood sexual abuse is OK when homosexual activities.

Never have I heard straights blame childhood sex abuse for reasons a man has sex with a woman and fathers children with her. Yet sometimes have heard gays and lesbians say childhood sex abuse is reason they do same sex behaviors. Sex abuse in youth can cause people to behave in ways. It not controversial to talk of nightmares, suicides, bed wetting often a result of sex abuse in youth. Yet when 1 talks gay/lesbian behaviors in adulthood because they learned this sexual behavior by being repeatedly molested, then gays with politically safe psychologists complain. The politically correct psychologists who deny this know possible for a boy to turn out gay as a result of childhood sex abuse, yet deny what they know is true. Of course, not all who are sexually abused in youth become gay in adulthood-but the risk is higher. Anybody who denies the link is dishonest, delusional or both.

A kid can become a mugger by living in high crime neighborhood, seeing muggings in childhood and learning this conduct. Yes, there are muggers who were not raised in high crime neighborhoods but still became muggers, but that does not rule out other causes. Many emphysema victims did not smoke and were not exposed to 2nd hand smoke and got emphysema due to bad genes but it would be dishonest to deny truth that if a person smokes, he or she is more likely to get emphysema.

Pages

Stay Informed