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Letter to the Queer Trans Advocacy Network from our President-Elect, Alex Iantaffi

March 01, 2022 8:00 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

Dear colleagues,

I'm sure many of you are already aware of the horrific anti-trans situation in Texas that would not only criminalize gender-affirming care but literally view affirming parents as abusive and any nurturing of trans, nonbinary and/or gender expansive youth as child abuse. If not, here is some information about what is happening: https://time.com/6150964/greg-abbott-trans-kids-child-abuse/

Abbott's preposterous directive to state health agencies means that healthcare providers would be viewed as criminals if they do not 'turn in' trans youth and their families. This directive followed a legal opinion released by Attorney General Ken Paxton on February 18th, which deemed gender-affirming care as child abuse under Texas law.

I am sure you can imagine what devastating impact this would have on trans, nonbinary and/or gender expansive youth and their families as well as on family therapists in Texas. If you live in Texas, please contact your state representatives and let them know that you oppose these horrific statements and directive. Please remind them that gender-affirming care is evidence-based and recommended by the World Professional Association for Transgender Health, as well as supported by scholarly evidence. It is not a politician's place to determine what is medically necessary or not.

You can also contact the Office of the Texas Governor here: https://gov.texas.gov/contact

Here are some other actions you can take, whether you live in Texas or not:

  • You can still contact the Office of the Texas Governor and let them know what you think as a family therapist
  • Donate to the Transgender Network Education of Texas, which it's the largest trans-led organization in the state: https://www.transtexas.org/
  • Support the Central Texas Transgender Health Coalition: https://txtranshealth.org/
  • Support Texas Trans Youth Alliance, a student-led organization: https://txtransyouthalliance.wixsite.com/ttya
  • Become an advocate for Resources for Transgender Youth in Texas: https://www.txtranskids.org/
  • Donate to the National Center for Transgender Equality: https://transequality.org/
  • Donate to Trans Lifeline: https://translifeline.org/
  • Donate to Lambda Legal, a national organization dedicated to promoting and protecting civil rights for LGBTQ+ people and people living with HIV nationally: https://www.lambdalegal.org/
  • Check in with your trans, nonbinary, and/or gender expansive clients, family members, neighbors and colleagues. This type of news impacts our communities and often increase suicidality (and as trans folks we already experience suicidality at ten times the rate of cis folks)
  • Become active where you live. This type of anti-trans legislation is sweeping the country. Texas is the latest and loudest manifestation but this anti-trans sentiments are national and dangerous. Check with your local organizations and state representatives to see what is going on where you live.
  • Follow the lead of trans communities if you are a cis ally. Make sure to pass the mic to a trans person whenever possible.
  • If you are trans, breathe, take care of yourself, connect with community, and turn off the news when you need to. We're not alone.
Thank you for all you do in your communities,

Alex

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Since writing this letter to the members of the Queer and Trans Advocacy Network, additional anti-trans legislation has been introduced and in some cases passed in various states. For example, Florida House of Representatives just passed the "Don't Say Gay or Trans" bill, which impacts educators, as well as mental health providers working in school and, of course, youth and their families. You can find out more information about this here: https://www.hrc.org/press-releases/breaking-florida-house-of-representatives-passes-dont-say-gay-or-trans-bill. You can tell Florida lawmakers to oppose this legislation via this form: https://act.eqfl.org/a/oppose-dont-say-gay-bill2 The Florida House of Representatives also passed the "Stop WOKE Act" last Thursday, which would again hinder educators and mental health providers working in schools from talking not just about gender and sexuality but also race and discrimination: https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/florida-house-passes-stop-woke-act-to-limit-talks-on-race-gender-and-discrimination-in-schools-workplaces/ You can tell Florida lawmakers to oppose this legislation via this form: https://act.eqfl.org/a/tell-florida-lawmakers-oppose-stop-woke

At the same time, Georgia Senate passed legislation banning the participation of trans athletes in sports team aligned with their gender identity: https://www.hrc.org/press-releases/human-rights-campaign-denounces-georgia-senates-passage-of-anti-trans-sports-legislation Around the same time, the Alabama House of Representatives passed another anti-trans bill impacting children in K-12 public schools: https://www.pinknews.co.uk/2022/02/23/alabama-trans-bathroom-ban-house/ 2022 seems to be following the sad record of 2021. Last year we witnessed legislators introduce 147 anti-trans bills across 34 states: https://www.hrc.org/press-releases/2021-officially-becomes-worst-year-in-recent-history-for-lgbtq-state-legislative-attacks-as-unprecedented-number-of-states-enact-record-shattering-number-of-anti-lgbtq-measures-into-law.

Please pay attention to what is happening in your state and how it is impacting your clients and their families, as well as your colleagues.


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