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In Texas, an attack on trans kids is poised to get the official 'OK'

Gov. Greg Abbott is expected to sign a bill targeting transgender children who play sports.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, a Republican, is primed to sign a bill into law banning transgender children from playing on sports teams that align with their gender identity.

The Texas House passed the anti-trans bill, House Bill 25, last Thursday. A day later, the bill was approved by the state Senate before going back to the House, where amendments were finalized during an afternoon session Sunday. The bill will now head to Abbott's desk to be signed.

The Texas Senate, with Abbott's support, has proposed bills targeting transgender athletes four times total this year — including three times during special sessions. H.B. 25 passed in what was Texas’ third special session of the year. For Abbott, a Republican fending off primary challenges from conservatives in his state, the obsession with trans athletes is widely seen as an attempt to shore up his support among similarly obsessed Republicans. 

Photo collage: Image of LGBTQ protestors at the Texas State Capitol holding signs that read, "#LetKidsPlay" and an image of Greg Abbott.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott is primed to sign a bill into law banning trans children from playing on sports teams that align with their gender identity. MSNBC / Getty Images

In a conversation with The ReidOut Blog last month, Emmett Schelling, an activist working with the Trans Education Network of Texas, made clear that transgender youth "are not decimating their cisgender peers in sports."

"That’s not a real thing that’s happening," he said.

Contrary to popular belief in conservative circles, trans children are not taking over youth sports by the numbers, and even when they do participate, trans children often face unique obstacles that can hinder their performance. 

Nearly 1 in 3 LGBTQ children play organized sports, which is lower than the national average by roughly 20 percentage points, according to a survey conducted earlier this year by The Trevor Project, a nonprofit group focused on suicide prevention among LGBTQ youth. And trans children "suffer disproportionately high rates of anxiety, depression, and suicidality," according to research published by the Association for Child and Adolescent Mental Health

In their crusade against transgender athletes, Texas Republicans have set out to scapegoat children for the sake of scoring political points. With the passage and seemingly inevitable signing of H.B. 25, Abbott is bringing a cruel, conservative vision to pass. 

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Head over to The ReidOut Blog for more.