By: Ian Cox, Red Phoenix Correspondent Texas
On Febuary 22nd a statement was released by Texas governor Greg Abbot in which he officially directed the Texas State Department of Family and Protective Services to consider and prosecute “so-called sex change procdeures” which are more properly referred to as sexual reassignment surgeries, as a form of child abuse. Governor Abbot justified this attack against transgenger and gender-nonconforming youth in Texas who are seeking professional medical advice and aid by stating that “under existing Texas law” sexual reassignment surgery constitutes a form of abuse, in this case it is labeled as child abuse by the reactionary Texas state.
However, in stating that gender-affirming medical treatment is a form of abuse Governor Abbot completely disregards factual information concerning the scientific understanding of gender and its fluidity. Ignoring this information plays into preconceived bigotry and prejudices that serve only the interests of the capitalist class and its desire to keep the workers ignorant, divided, and fighting amongst themselves. The American Psychological Association (APA) recognizes that “transgender persons have been documented in many indigenous, Western, and Eastern cultures and societies from antiquity until the present day.” The APA continues by saying that it “is not helpful to force the child [experiencing gender dysphoria] to act in a more gender-conforming way” and that “peer support from other parents of gender non-comforming children may also be helpful.” In a complete disregard for the APA’s findings this decree by Governor Abbot forces transgender and gender-nonconforming children and youth to act in “gender-confoming” ways. This harmful act can potentially lead to a severe increase in the levels of gender dysphoria, depression, and self-hatred that are faced by the youth in Texas for which they will receive little to no medical care for since the statement issued by Governor Abbot also threatens the very people who could help protect and comfort transgender youth.
The statement released on February 22nd also contains a line that requires all “licensed professionals” which includes teachers, medical professionals, and psychologists, to report their students or patients to the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services if they are aware that their student or patient identifies as gender-nonconforming and is searching for professional medical help in order to begin the process of transitioning so that their gender-expression might match their gender-idenity. If these “licensed professionals” do not report the intentions of their transgender and gender-nonconforming students and/or patients to the Texas Department of Family and Protetive Services they can face sever consequences such as legal charges that could lead to the loss of their teaching, medical, and proffessional liscenses. This act of targeting those who could potentially offer actual material care to gender-nonconforming youth will undoubtedly lead to a decrease in health services provided to gender-nonconforming youth as the youth will feel less comfortable being open with their struggles and the “liscensed professionals” will lower the amount of professional aid they are able/willing to give a gender-noncofmning youth out of fear of losing their job and livelihood. Governor Greg Abbot and all other reactionary components of the state of Texas know this and are counting on it. This attack is meant to silence all efforts of providing appropriate mental and medical healthcare to all transgender and gender-nonconforming youth who need it. All of this is being done to try and discredit the experiences and existence of gender-nonconforming peoples.
These attacks serve the capitalist class’s goal of trying to separate and divide the working class by forcing it to cannibalize itself over reactionary idealist prejudices and bigotry instead of finding unity and struggling to end the corrupt capitalist system that oppresses all youth and workers in the state of Texas
These attacks on transgender and gender-nonconforming youth in Texas have not fallen from the sky unexpectedly. They have emerged at a time of crises and as Governor Abbot is seeking to energize his conservative base and please his political donors in order to be re-elected as Governor of Texas and maintain his political influence. These attacks serve the capitalist class’s goal of trying to separate and divide the working class by forcing it to cannibalize itself over reactionary idealist prejudices and bigotry instead of finding unity and struggling to end the corrupt capitalist system that oppresses all youth and workers in the state of Texas that has in so many ways severally failed them in recent years, especially with its less than adequate response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
As for now, all progressive and revolutionary forces in Texas need to be organizing, demonstrating, and struggling in solidarity with all of Texas’ transgender and gender-nonconforming youth as these youth struggle not only to find safe spaces to exert their right to exist but also struggle for their right to seek professional medical care. Anything less than full solidarity with the transgender and gender-nonconforming community, especially the youth in this community, is unacceptable.
TRANS LIVES MATTER!