For Immediate Release



[FEBRUARY 24, 2022] In his latest attack on Trans, Agendered, & Nonbinary people, Texas Gov. Greg Abbot has penned a letter to the Texas Department of Family & Protective Services (DFPS) that ongoing life-affirming treatments constitute as “child abuse” under Texas state law. The letter comes days after Texas Attorney General, Ken Paxton, wrote an opinion to the Texas House of Representatives that puberty-suppressing drugs and hormones to trans youth should be investigated as child abuse.

In a time where misinformation, ignorance, and transphobia can be politically expedient, we must understand the depths of how such rhetoric can impact Black-Trans people and how we as a Black LGBTQIA+ community can combat the consequences of a political figurehead falsifying life-affirming treatments as abusive.

Although the actions of the Texas Governor and Attorney General are merely opinionated, such verbiage is strategic in a way that invites the undermining of trans people. As the general public views these figureheads as “credible,” this constitutes as whistleblowing for transphobia and only harms the forward mobility of Black-Trans folks- regardless of any subsequent (transphobic) law is enacted.

The sub-majority of parents of trans youth who are accepting and supportive of their child’s *life-affirmation* being guised as abuse is grossly ironic. Gender-affirmation is life-affirmation.

As noted in the 2021 Trevor Project, more than 50% of transgender & nonbinary youth considered suicide and 66%+ reported symptoms of major depressive disorder. Nothing is “abusive” about vastly lowering the risk of chronic mental health issues, substance abuse, (youth) homelessness, and suicide. The real abuse is in governing officials that are using political resources to marginalize trans people.

Director at The Normal Anomaly Initiative, Inc, Joelle Espeut, says, “Abbott’s continued efforts to not only undermine, but essentially terrorize marginalized communities has reached new levels with his recent attacks on trans* youth. Through misguided, ill-informed and incorrect information, bigotry and transphobic bias, he is continuing to traumatize our trans* youth who need affirming and supporting care the most. What he is doing doesn’t just affect trans youth, but all youth and our future.”

As it pertains to the topic of life-affirming treatments, those in community and allyship must remain diligent- particularly in the interest of Black-Transgender people. Here are some actionable items that we can immediately participate in:

  • Physician Referral: Anyone with knowledge of Black-Trans and/or allied physicians who are invested in providing the best care can make it a priority to refer them to care-seeking families and the community.
  • Testimony: Elaborating on experiences from parents of Black-Trans youth who have undergone life-affirming treatments will help ease the concerns of parents of trans youth (who may be misguided/uneducated on supporting life-affirming treatments).
  • Donations: Everything costs money and low/no-income families should be able to affirm a person’s life.
  • Education Recycling: Through our owned and social media, we can share content from Black-Trans and allied voices as they help educate the masses.
  • Political Actions: Measures such as expressing grievances to city/state representatives, voting, and holding protests are ways to be politically involved.

Acceptance is not just a parent telling a child, “We love you no matter what,” acceptance is taking action into fully affirming one’s existence which may include life-affirming treatments. How insidious it is of the Texas Governor and Attorney General to plead for investigations into the parents who are actually doing the work towards personal liberation and a more just world.

The Normal Anomaly Initiative is a nonprofit organization In Houston, Texas centering Black, queer plus persons to overcome barriers, end stigma and problematic narratives to actualize a new normal.

Prepared by Quinton Darnell on behalf of The Normal Anomaly Initiative, Inc.