We, the Washington State Legislature’s LGBTQ Caucus, stand with the Trans youth in Texas and condemn Texas Gov. Abbott’s horrific directive to investigate gender-affirming care for trans youth. Trans, gender-diverse, and gender non-binary folks are nearly 12 times more likely to attempt suicide. This rate increases when they can’t access gender-affirming care. Gender-affirming care is suicide prevention– it saves lives.
These new Texan rules will do nothing but harm Trans and gender diverse youth for no other reason than being themselves. A state government should help and support their residents; these rules do the opposite. In Washington, we understand our responsibilities and have passed laws to help and support our Trans and gender-diverse youth. In 2021 we passed legislation to ensure accessible coverage for gender-affirming care. All teachers, doctors and caregivers should be able to be trusted adults who guide the growth and development of young people. Gov. Abbott’s directive tells these mentors to break the promises they make to children and puts these youth, their parents and caregivers in danger. Restricting gender-affirming care itself is child abuse. There is a repugnant irony in criminalizing the mentors who should be there for Trans youth.
We all need to play a part in protecting Trans and gender diverse youth by providing safety and honoring their privacy, agenda, and identity. As legislators and Washingtonians, we need to continue to confront transphobia and actively protect our kids from potentially deadly policies. Kids, not just in Washington but throughout the nation and all over the world, deserve agency over their bodies.
We stand in solidarity with Trans and gender-diverse youth in Texas and echo the words of Marsha P. Johnson: “No pride for some of us without liberation for all of us.”