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Hateful, Bigoted White Men Have Far Too Much Power, as Demonstrated by Greg Abbott’s Stomach Churning New Order Against the Trans Community

Abbott

I’m fully aware that there is an unseasoned collection of hateful old white cis men who make it their business to get in marginalized folks’ business, but this latest attack against the trans community courtesy of Texas Governor Greg Abbott is more despicable than I could ever imagine.

Greg Abbott’s letter to the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services

Note: the above thread has a lot of helpful resources and a general “trans folks have been talking about horrific situations like this for years, other states are trying to pull this, too” vibe.

Because it’s not just Texas that’s doing this.

I also recommend this thread for more resources:

Now before I dive into Abbott’s letter, I have to say that I’m immediately appalled at the fact that this crinkled old toenail is so bothered by the trans community that he thinks their existence warrants contacting a department with the words “protective services” in their name.

What do you need protection from, Greg?

But really, that’s the question I always have when the lawmaker of the day decides to target the trans community. It’s kinda a thing they like to do.

Abbott’s entire letter can be read here, but I will warn you, it is not an easy read. Because as much as I know that there are folks out there who wear their bigotry with honor and terrible bumper stickers, it’s an entirely different kind of nightmare when you realize that those moldy couch crumbs actually have the power to enact orders against entire communities of people.

It’s not just his hatred that makes Abbott, and others like him, disgusting, it’s the fact that they can actually come together to make a law where you’re not only expected to hate trans people, you’re punished if you don’t.

The letter opens with the following:

Consistent with our correspondence in August 2021, the Office of the Attorney General (OAG) has now confirmed in the enclosed opinion that a number of so-called “sex change” procedures constitute child abuse under existing Texas law. Because the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) is responsible for protecting children from abuse, I hereby direct your agency to conduct a prompt and thorough investigation of any reported instances of these abusive procedures in the State of Texas.

As the wise, Black woman who gave birth to me once said, “Fuck you, fuck you, and fuck you.”

But wait, I say as I try and figure out how to dropkick a rotten, Texas potato into the stratosphere, there’s more.

As OAG Opinion No. KP-0401 makes clear, it is already against the law to subject Texas children to a wide variety of elective procedures for gender transitioning, including reassignment surgeries that can cause sterilization, mastectomies, removals of otherwise healthy body parts, and administration of puberty-blocking drugs or supraphysiologic doses of testosterone or estrogen. See TEX. FAM. CODE § 261.001(1)(A)–(D) (defining “abuse”).

Texas law imposes reporting requirements upon all licensed professionals who have direct contact with children who may be subject to such abuse, including doctors, nurses, and teachers, and provides criminal penalties for failure to report such child abuse. See id. §§ 261.101(b), 261.109(a-1). There are similar reporting requirements and criminal penalties for members of the general public. See id. §§ 261.101(a), 261.109(a).

Texas law also imposes a duty on DFPS to investigate the parents of a child who is subjected to these abusive gender-transitioning procedures, and on other state agencies to investigate licensed facilities where such procedures may occur. See TEX. FAM. CODE § 261.301(a)–(b). To protect Texas children from abuse, DFPS and all other state agencies must follow the law as explained in OAG Opinion No. KP-0401.

This thing is fifteen pages, by the way. All of this is from page one.

What Abbott’s letter boils down to is this: Family and Protective Services is supposed to investigate ALL trans children in Texas and report their parents for, and I can’t believe I’m even writing this, child abuse. If you’re someone like a doctor or a teacher, you are expected to report this “child abuse” and can potentially face criminal penalties if you don’t.

Quoting my mother again here with a resounding, “FUCK and YOU.”

According to The Dallas Morning News, Abbott also sent this letter to the Health and Human Services Commission, Texas Medical Board, and Texas Education Agency.

And then there’s this bit of information:

Abbott’s order came the day after Attorney General Ken Paxton released an opinion that said certain types of medical care for trans youth—including treatments like hormone therapy and puberty blockers—is a form of child abuse. Attorney general opinions do not have the force of law, but former officials said agency heads are mostly expected to follow them.

The Dallas Morning News reports that “it’s unclear what immediate effect the directive will have on kids, teachers, doctors, and parents.” That being said, the fact that the directive was even made is horrifying.

The language of it all is so appalling

Everything about this situation is awful, but what really makes me sick is the way Abbott talks about the trans community. Because using words like “abuse” to describe parents who support their trans children is an absolutely wretched thing to do.

It’s already hard enough to be a young person who is part of a vilified community, but seeing an order that seeks to make those who support you into criminals is going to add an abysmal layer of hurt to the pain that’s already sitting there because of men like Abbott. It’s one thing to be told you’re wrong for existing as yourself, but to be told that AND have your parents be labeled as child abusers? Your teachers and doctors as criminals?

I’m sure there is plenty of discussion about folks in those positions who are eager to report the nefarious acts of trans kids who, gasp, like to read, but I can’t imagine the level of guilt a kid is going to feel if they have supportive people in their lives. Because right now those people are being told to report these kids for being themselves, and if they don’t? They’ll get in trouble.

Like. Imagine your mom being branded a child abuser because she told you to love yourself.

How do you even deal with that?

Men like Greg Abbott need to stop being the ones who are given the power to make decisions like this. More importantly, we need to always be listening to the trans community when they tell us that there are folks out there who are actively trying to eradicate them. It’s exhausting to see just how normal it’s become to see some shriveled walnut demand this amount of hate toward a community that is simply trying to live their lives in peace.

And it’s even more exhausting when you realize that dreadful person is actually making progress in their attempts to make an entire community’s life a living hell.

(Image: Brandon Bell/Getty Images)

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Briana (she/her - bisexual) is trying her best to cosplay as a responsible adult. Her writing tends to focus on the importance of representation, whether it’s through her multiple book series or the pieces she writes. After de-transforming from her magical girl state, she indulges in an ever-growing pile of manga, marathons too much anime, and dedicates an embarrassing amount of time to her Animal Crossing pumpkin patch (it's Halloween forever, deal with it Nook)