Editorial | Texas attack on trans rights is putting people’s wellbeing at risk


Kaycee Orwig | Senior Staff Photographer

A protester holds a “Trans People Belong” sign during a June 2020 protest.

By The Pitt News Editorial Board

Transgender people have been demonized for a long time, and are often portrayed in a negative light by the media and entertainment industries.

They are often seen and categorized as “other,” and increasingly killed simply for being transgender — and trans people of color are at an even higher risk. A study conducted by the Williams Insitutute at the University of California at Los Angeles found that compared to cisgender people, trans people are more than four times as likely to be victims of a violent crime.

The White House condemned an order issued last Tuesday by Gov. Greg Abbott to have the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services investigate instances of gender-affirming care. The Biden administration said in a statement to ABC News that the “attack on loving parents who seek medical care for their transgender children is dangerous to the health of kids in Texas and part of much larger trend of conservative officials cynically attacking LGBTQI+ youth to score political points.”

The Texas order will not prevent gender transitioning or affirming procedures — which Abbott defines as “child abuse.” Instead, this will lead to more devastating consequences, including a ruinous effect on the mental health of trans people and their families. The Texas order and decisions like it will only make life for trans people inexcusably difficult while they try to live their most authentic and valid existences.

Despite the Biden administration’s disapproval of this order and legislation like it that attacks the rights of trans people, dozens of discriminatory anti-trans bills have been prosped in states across the country just this year. Seventeen anti-trans bills were enacted into law last year while many more were proposed. These figures coincide with 2021 recorded as the deadliest year for trans people on record, where a disproportionate amount of killings occur in the southern part of the country.

With 2022 predicted to potentially be the worst legislative year for trans people, as lawmakers propose and pass more directives and bills that infringe upon their lives, Americans must consider what’s at stake for those that these directives target. If you find yourself making conclusions about trans issues without having ever met or spoken with someone who is transgender, you should reevaluate how your biases and prejudices are affecting not only trans people’s quality of life, but the state of it, too.

The decisions of politicians are not the only thing that matters here — it’s also the opinions of voters that matters, too. We vote these politicians into office and expect them to listen to their constituents, so it’s also our responsibility to be aware of the issues they’re voting on and legislation that’s passing.

Trans people are people and should live a fear-free existence. This is a matter of life or death in some situations, and we must evaluate these decisions as such.