When “For The Good of the Children” is Used to Harm Children3 min read

Texas Gov. Abbot is forcing doctors, nurses, therapists, teachers, religious leaders, and more to report the parents of trans kids for supporting their children.

Any time trans issues come up, there’s a couple of arguments that always come up that sound reasonable, but are pretty simple to debunk when you stop and think about it. I’m gonna hit the biggest ones really quick, plus some ideas of things to do about it.

"I don’t agree with it." Yeah, that’s nice. So don’t be trans yourself. Forcing that on someone else is a different thing completely.

"But it’s my religious belief…" Okay, also nice. I can acknowledge your belief, but it still doesn’t apply to anyone else. Otherwise you can get rid of cheeseburgers, meat on Fridays, blood transfusions, just to name a few things.

"But bathrooms…" The people abusing women in bathrooms aren’t trans people – it’s straight men. Go look at the police reports. We also have laws already addressing that.

"It’ll mess with the kids…" The opposite is true. Research shows that supporting trans kids – including hormone therapy and other medical interventions – lowers rates of depression, suicidal ideation, and suicidal gestures.

"But it’s permanently changing their bodies…" Unlike, say, adderall? Or the other psychoactive drugs we give children in elementary school? And that’s not even considering sports…

"But sports won’t be fair…" How about instead of worrying about how much testosterone is "normal" in an athlete, we instead spend all that brain power figuring out how to make leagues and competitions based on ability and skill instead of gender? We do that kind of ranking for plenty of sports already…

"But what do I call them?" People have had no problem asking me how to pronounce my last name and whether or not I prefer "Steve" or "Steven" my whole life. Sometimes – like when I started emphasizing "Steven" instead of "Steve" because my then-girlfriend had an ex named "Steve" – people had to change what they called me. They figured it out pretty easily.

So what to do? Obviously, donating to The Trevor Project and HRC should be at the top of the list. There’s also ways to contact elected officials like this one: https://actnow.io/I4COEul Refresh your knowledge of how to be an ally and support LGBTQIA+ kids: https://www.thetrevorproject.org/resources/guide/a-guide-to-being-an-ally-to-transgender-and-nonbinary-youth/

And then call out others who can’t figure this very simple basic stuff out. Point out how simple it is, and shame them (or even exclude them) if they can’t get on board.

But what about changing minds? First you have to change their behavior. The only real way to change a bigot’s mind is to force them to interact with the people they’re bigoted against. Yes, this is the plot of Enemy Mine; it’s also true. But that’s the second step, and only after their behavior has changed.

How do you get them to change their behavior? You force them to realize they’re not representative of the population at large. That their bigotry is not socially acceptable.

When bigots realize their actions aren’t "okay" in society, they change their behavior, even if they don’t change their minds.

This is the time to speak up about the bigotry. To bring it up. To force people to "explain why that joke is funny". To force them to realize they’re talking about you and yours. People they know.

Because this is not an isolated situation. This is, most likely, a test run. Whether it was meant that way or not, bigots elsewhere – bigots here – are paying attention. If this tactic works, it will be used elsewhere and for any other thing that a politician thinks is too different.

Governor Abbot’s declaration is going to kill kids. It is going to harm children.

All that is required for evil to occur is for good people to do nothing.

Are you going to be silent?

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