February 23rd, 2022
Dear, trans, enby, gender fluid, gender queer, and gender expansive youth of Texas:
Today is a hard day. A lot of days are hard, we know, but this one really, really sucks. The news about Governor Abbot’s executive order letter is scary, and it probably doesn’t make you feel very safe.
Sometimes, the adults who are supposed to protect you just don’t. They let their own prejudices and false beliefs get in the way of their duties to others. When this happens, people they are supposed to protect get hurt. Worse, the folks who need that protection the most are ignored and sometimes, like right now, they are put in danger.
The leader of your state, Governor Greg Abbott, is telling your teachers, doctors, mental health professionals, and other adults, whose job it is to look out for you, to report your guardians to authorities if they help you get gender affirming medical care. He is even calling it child abuse. We want you to know: he is wrong. There are no “two sides” to this issue, there are no shades of gray here. Governor Abbot is wrong and has done a terrible thing in issuing this order. He is trying to keep you from being the person you are. Worse, he is trying to put people in prison for doing exactly what they are supposed to do –help you grow into the best, most authentic version of yourself.
Having had the chance to meet so many of you at PAX South and HavenCon over the years, we wanted to let you know that we’re with you. We see you. We support you. We care about you. And we think what your state government is doing to you is absolutely horrible. There is nothing wrong with being transgender, nonbinary, gender fluid, gender queer, bi gender, gender non-conforming, gender expansive, or any gender you in your heart are! More importantly, there’s nothing wrong with getting help from a medical professional because you were assigned a gender at birth that doesn’t fit. You are wonderful. The world needs brave people like you. We can’t wait to see who you grow up to become and we intend to make sure you get that chance.
There are so, so many other adults who care, too! We are all going to do our best to get you the care and resources you need to grow up healthy and happy. GaymerX has put together a list of nonprofits, local community groups, charities, and other organizations that you and your loved ones can contact for help. –If you’re an adult reading this looking for ways to support these young people, there will be resources there for you, too.
You can find that list here: Texas Trans Affirming Resources
Or copy and paste this link into your browser: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1a7icwHmm7A47bkZLd4sXH7jFtJNjUjL_ogEyq53FPGI/edit?usp=sharing
It may not seem like it right now, but there is hope. Most of us adult queer folks grew up without a lot of support from our communities. There were not enough caring and knowledgeable adults looking out for us. We know how much that sucks. We don’t want that to happen to you. We’re going to stick up for you because we know how it feels when people in power treat you like you shouldn’t exist. (And you absolutely should exist!) There are a ton of queer and allied adults who are on your side and who are fighting hard, every day, to make the world a safer place for you and other LGBTQIA+ people.
We’re not going to give you some shallow “it gets better” talk. We’re promising you that there are people who are fighting to make it better for you, right now. We’re asking you to hold on while we fight this and things like it. We’re going to keep looking for ways to create spaces and media that validates you and who you are. Lastly, We want you to know that many of us who are already in jobs that are supposed to protect you intend to keep doing just that, in spite of this order. We’re asking the other adults in your communities to do the same.
We hope this letter has given you some comfort. We wanted to let you know how much we care and how hard we’re going to work to try to keep you safe.
Brian Kunde, LCSW
Culture & Operations Director