• Gov. Greg Abbott. Photo: Twitter.

Texas Gov. Abbott Attacks Trans Athletes in New Bill

New bill forbids trans student-athletes from competing on teams that correspond with gender identity

By |2021-10-27T14:47:03-04:00October 27th, 2021|National, News|

Texas Governor Greg Abbott continued his attack on the LGBTQ+ citizens of his state Monday by signing a new bill into law that forbids trans students from competing on school teams that correspond with their gender identities. 

The bill passed in the state legislature earlier in the month by 19-12 in the Texas Senate and 76-61 in the House. And, it comes weeks after Abbott removed LGBTQ+ youth suicide prevention resources from government sites. 

The new bill is prompting statements from organizations throughout Texas and across the country. 

“We are devastated at the passage of this bill,” read the start of a series of Tweets sent out by Richard Martinez, CEO of Equality Texas. “Despite the powerful advocacy and testimony of trans kids and adults, families and advocates … it is now law.”

Amit Paley, CEO of The Trevor Project, also took to Twitter to express his dismay.  

“House Bill 25, the anti-trans sports bill in Texas, was signed into law today – but this fight isn’t over,” he said. “Trevor Project is here for support 24/7 [and] we’ll continue working with our partners to challenge this law to protect trans and nonbinary Texans.”

The new law will go into effect in January if no legal challenges are brought before then that could delay it — a federal judge in West Virginia recently ruled to temporarily block a similar law. The passage of the bill makes Texas the eighth state to pass anti-trans bills this year. 

Martinez said that while the fight will continue, this is also a time for healing.

“Most immediately, our focus is our community and integrating concepts of healing justice to provide advocates who have already been harmed by this bill with spaces to refill their cup and unpack the acute trauma caused by these legislative sessions,” his Tweet continued. “Our organization will also begin to shift focus to electing pro-equality lawmakers who understand our issues and prioritize representing the vast majority of Texans who firmly believe that discrimination against trans and LGB+ people is wrong.”

Before the passage of the bill, the University Interscholastic League limited all Texas students to participating only on those sports teams that aligned with the sex listed on their birth certificates. However, amended birth certificates were allowed. The new law, if it goes into effect, will override the UIL policy.

“It’s been a long and brutal fight, but we will not stop fighting to protect our community and secure the nondiscrimination protections we need so that all young people can thrive and live out their fullest potential,” Martinez’s Tweet concluded. “Trans kids and adults in Texas — and everywhere — deserve love and support, peace of mind, healthcare, happiness, to be carefree and focus on living out their greatest potential.”

About the Author:

Jason A. Michael
Jason A. Michael joined Between The Lines as a contributing writer in 1999. He has received both the Spirit of Detroit Award (presented by the Detroit City Council) and the Media Award from the Community Pride Banquet & Awards Ceremony for his writing and activism. Jason is also an Essence magazine bestselling author for his authorized biography "Strength Of A Woman: The Phyllis Hyman Story," released on his own JAM Books imprint.