Texas Calls Another Special Session to Consider Anti-Trans Bills

Written by SK Ashby

The Texas state legislature would normally only meet during one biennial legislative session every two years, but the legislature is now it its third special session in the last eight months to consider a series of anti-transgender bills.

Previous special sessions were used to pass a ban on abortion and a voter suppression bill, but the current session appears to be focused on criminalizing transgender children and their parents.

Among other things, state lawmakers may ban transgender participation in sports and even criminalize counseling and therapy for transgender kids.

From ABC News:

Lawmakers will consider banning transgender students from playing on interscholastic teams that align with their gender identity. Children in grades K through 12 would only be allowed to play sports that correspond with their sex assigned at birth or sex designated on their original birth certificate.

Texas lawmakers alone have introduced more than 40 anti-trans bills this year. [...]

Other anti-trans bills on the special session docket include bans on gender-affirming therapy, counseling, surgery or health care. In some cases, allowing a child or teen under the age of 18 gender-affirming health care may be considered child abuse, if HB22 is signed into law.

Banning transgender participation in youth sports is wrong for reasons that even ABC News is pointing out at this point. There is no evidence that allowing transgender kids to play on an appropriate team gives them an advantage beyond what cisgender kids of different sizes already experience.

What I want to address, however, is the potential ban on every form of health care for transgender kids including therapy and counseling.

Under most insurance plans, therapy is actually required before you're approved for medication and other transition-related procedures. Therapy and counseling are the beginning of the beginning and banning that is tantamount to banning transgender existence in public life. No policy can ever change the fact that some people are born in the wrong starting bodies, but policy can make life as difficult and cruel as possible for those people.

It's never too late to become your true self and begin a transition, but it does become more difficult the older you get. The reason that older transgender people may require more surgery or other cosmetic procedures is because we have experienced most of our lives under the dominance of the wrong hormones that made permanent changes to our bodies. We all experienced the wrong puberty and it's an uphill climb to reverse those changes. And some of them you can't.

Children who are fortunate enough to know who they really are at a young age can take reversible puberty blockers that delay permanent changes to their bodies that they would regret later in life. Any attempt to ban that form of treatment should be considered a human rights violation and that's exactly what lawmakers in Texas are trying to do.

I feel qualified to judge that anyone who tries to make life more difficult for transgender people and children is a terrible person.