Mark Cazares, a trans man and advocate, describes how having access to these medical services would have changed his youth “I cried often about my appearance cause I never looked or sounded the way I was supposed to. So life would have been 10 times better!”
Accessing these medical services alone can be a challenge,“It is already extremely difficult to access this kind of care for children, in fact there is no gender-affirming medical care for transgender children to access hormone blockers here in the RGV.”-Adrian. In the Rio Grande Valley of South Texas, and other medically underserved areas, families are forced to travel hours at a time to receive the care they need which is not always feasible and yet another barrier the trans community faces.
Adrian describes the terrifying reality that began with this new wave of anti-trans movement starting with Abbott’s order at the time of its release, “I am a co-admin in an RGV LGBTQIA+ Parenting group, and I already know how many parents of Trans youth are preparing themselves because Abbott’s directive directly threatens the foundation of families. Many have consulted attorneys, looked for at-home schooling options, and have even considered moving out of state.”
Trans children are increasingly vulnerable in our political climate and this threat to the trans community seemed to try to erase them. Mark adds “ I’ve talked to many trans people in my life and 9 out of 10 people will say they’ve known they were trans since early childhood. Parents have no say in what their children’s gender is.”
For many, this feels like a step backward for the LGBTQIA+ community and has added to the grief they feel. “We are doing them a favor by pretending this level of hatefulness is simply a result of ignorance. It’s malice. He [Abbott] knows perfectly well that this order will kill people. That the further condemnation of trans people will only ever, as it always has, lead to grief and suffering. He simply does not care….For trans youths who remain closeted for their own safety, I’m sure this order remains a constant reminder of the delicate tightrope they have to walk beyond being true to themselves and surviving a situation where their needs and wants are considered socially deprived.”- CT
In early March, Texas judge Amy Maechum ruled Abbotts directive as unconstitutional but this hasn’t stopped the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services from continuing investigations into transgender patients after the Texas Supreme Court overturned injunctions on these cases. Other anti-LGBT legislation has also been introduced across the nation. As of March 2022, 13 other states are considering bills that could deny gender-affirming care. Each of them would criminalize or involve state licensing boards for health care providers who provide gender-affirming care to minors. Ten of these states would allow individuals to file suits for damages against providers who violate these laws. Of these states, over 58,000 transgender youth and young adults risk losing gender-affirming care.