Feb 22, 2022: Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton and Gov. Greg Abbott release legal opinion stating gender affirming care is "child abuse"
February 24th, 2022 -- Healthcare surrounding gender confirmation services is a human right, and not child abuse. Denying health care services to children is barbaric, un-civil, and out-right dangerous. Studies have repeatedly proven that gender confirmation services saves lives, especially among LGBTQ+ youth. Pride Community Center condemns the actions of the Governor and Attorney General of Texas. Not only are their actions dangerous, their actions are anti-life. Pride Community Center will stand with our trans family in Texas and anywhere else that we can Pride Community Center, Inc stands with Transgender Texan youth and their families in light of statements made this week by the Texas Attorney General and Texas Governor regarding gender affirming care being classified as "child abuse". Most importantly, we want to assure the community that the statements issued are not binding law, they are legal opinion. Per the Texas Tribune 1 the :
Texas Medical Association, Texas Counseling Association and Texas Pediatric Society — say gender-affirming care is the best way to provide care to transgender children. They’re not alone: the American Psychiatric Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry and others agree, and have for years.
The leadership of Pride Community Center, Inc. abides by the ethic that gender affirming care is a private and personal option best left to the youths affected by the decision and the medical professionals who work with them.
We would like to reiterate that the statements made by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton and Governor Greg Abbott are legal opinion rooted in a politic to erase or diminish the realities of Transgender Texans. Their opinion has no legal binding. Regarding healthcare going forward for transgender family members, continue to follow the recommendations of your healthcare providers. We, as well as partners on the state and national level, will continue to monitor this situation.
Mandatory Reporting Requirements: Some of our community have been concerned that this changes mandatory reporting requirements for child abuse. Our understanding in working with state advocates is that it does not. We have been advised that the standard for reporting of child abuse is currently "reasonable cause to believe" . According to www.lawinsider.com :
Reasonable cause to believe means, in light of all the surrounding facts and circumstances which are known, a reasonable person would believe, under those facts and circumstances, that an act, transaction, event, situation or condition exists, is occurring or has occurred.
What can I do about this?
Listen and assure others in your community that these statements are not legally binding.
Those who hold public office in our land are elected by the people. Tuesday, March 1st is a primary election. While primary elections DO NOT decide who will next hold public office. They do decide what candidates of each party can run for those offices. Please vote your conscience for the most LGBTQ+ affirmative candidates you can find in your local community, all the way to the statehouse.
Support our transgender youth. This kind of news is impacting everyone and may have a disproportionate impact on Transgender Texan youth. Let them share their concerns with you, listen with an open heart, and reassure them that you are personally on their side. Below are some resources you can also use for more information.
While neither the Governor’s order nor the Attorney General’s published opinion constitute formal legislation and are not considered a law in Texas, we urge you to contact DFPS directly and make sure your views are taken into account as they begin to clarify their child safety policies. Send DFPS a message today.
Remember: Pride Community Center hosts an LGBTQ+ Youth Support group the fifth Tuesday of every month for those in 7th through 12th grades. Many in our community are experiencing trauma regarding this. Psychology today lists some excellent therapists in the area who claim LGBQT+ people as a specialty. Also, you can always call Pride Community Center at 979.217.1324 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org to set up a peer discussion with a community member.
In conclusion, Pride Community Center joins Equality Texas in stating:
Disinformation, being spread about transgender people and their healthcare, highlights, exaggerates and imagines a non-existent problem as an urgent moral emergency that must be tackled right now
Transgender Education Network of Texas
ACLU of Texas
"Transgender Texan children are our children. They are members of the village we intentionally create in community with one another. At this time, as political machinations and grownup nonsense falls around them, not only do we need support from each other, our Transgender Texan children need to be held in our embrace and reminded that they are authentic, they are loved, and we will do everything we can to protect them" - Katrina Stewart, Executive Director, Pride Community Center
"I hope to see the day that trans people will not be used as political pawns, especially our youth. Simply put, we have some leadership in Texas that would undoubtedly rather see dead kids, than trans kids. This opinion is simply that, an opinion. This legally changes nothing and is yet another act of cruelty inflicted on Texas’s trans children for the sake of political posturing.”
- Emmett Schelling, Executive Director, Transgender Education Network of TexasAbout Pride Community Center, Inc.
Pride Community Center (PCC) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization recognized by the IRS. The organization was founded in 2010. The primary mission is to provide a safe place for persons of all sexual orientations, gender identities, and gender expressions, their families and friends, to meet and socialize without having to worry about who they are.