Transgender children have been in the crosshairs of conservative groups in the legislature and elsewhere for the past decade. Amongst legislative attempts to discriminate against them, there have been attempts to ban them from gender-specific bathrooms or from participating in sports consistent with their gender identity. Support for transphobic attitudes and actions has grown. Now there is an attempt in Texas to lay blame on parents who affirm their child’s gender identity. This bill is one of the most harmful to trans children, but is the tip of the iceberg; there have been over 235 state-based bills that limit the rights of trans children in 2022 (https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/nearly-240-anti-lgbtq-bills-filed-in-2022-so-far-with-most-targeting-trans-people/ar-AAVhMSa) . The current law that has passed in Texas, abhorrently describes parental support of trans children as child abuse; though, for now, it has been placed on hold by a Texas appeals court.
CSWA believes that gender identity is an integral aspect of our intersectional identities and that children’s rights to express their identities, and to participate in everyday activities of childhood, regardless of this expression, should be protected. LCSWs work with trans-children and adults who have been harmed because their trans identities. To our affiliated colleagues in the Texas Society for Clinical Social Work, we send our support and encouragement to stand strong. No law can persuade us to ignore our ethical stance on respecting the identity of any individual child, and for parents that support and affirm their children. Also notable, the Texas law does nothing to prevent the violence directed toward trans BIPOC youth for being themselves. This violence has increased at alarming rates in the last few years.
As reported by Forbes, 30 trans youth were killed in 2020, including 23 that were BIPOC youth. (Forbes, “Transgender America: 30 Killed And Fatally Shot Already In 2020”, 10/2/20, https://www.forbes.com/sites/jamiewareham/2020/10/02/30-trans-woman-have-now-been-violently-murdered-in-america-in-2020/?sh=296cb38564a4). The work of groups like GLAAD (glaad.org), the Trans Youth Equality Foundation (http://www.transyouthequality.org/), and the Transgender Law Center (https://transgenderlawcenter.org/) are crucial to educating the public and advocating across multiple domains to prevent transphobic violence and discrimination against trans youth and their parents. CSWA supports the work of these groups in preventing harm and protecting trans children.
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