Texas parents are fighting the law for transgender children for the fourth time this year

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Karen Kreuzer and Linzi Foster are two friends who are familiar with the Texas Capitol Corridor.

During this year’s regular legislative session and two subsequent special sessions, both mothers defended children caught in the crosshairs of several bills targeting young transgender Texans. Some appeared with other parents.

Currently, a third special session of Congress is underway, and the two friends discuss banning the legislature from playing on sports teams that once again match Republicans’ top priority, gender identity. Because it has faced another round of visits and demonstrations.

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“It’s just going on, it’s ridiculous,” said Kreuzer, mother of nine, about the amount of invoices she filed during a session for LGBTQ Texans. “It’s the fourth round of the year…. why do we still have to do this?”

So far, the Texas Senate has passed a bill limiting transgender participation in youth sports to four times. In the first three times the bill got stuck and failed. Senate Bill 3, drafted last week by Lubbock Republican Senator Charles Perry, was approved by a 19-12 Senate vote, but a Democrat voted against.

Now moved to the House of Representatives and referred to the House Public Education Committee on Monday, the last time state legislators Harold Dutton and D-Houston blocked a similar law from reaching the House floor. In an interview at the Texas Tribune Festival on Friday, House Speaker Dade Phelan said that if the bill moves to the House floor, the House votes to pass the bill.

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The bill requires K-12 public school student athletes to play on a sports team that matches the gender listed on the birth certificate issued at or near the time of birth. The University Interscholastic League, which oversees school athletics in Texas, has already used a student’s birth certificate to verify gender and has changed the birth certificate to match the student’s gender identity. could. We also accept books. SB3 will no longer accept it.

While sports and other laws for transgender youth, such as those limiting care for gender identity disorders, are not laws in Texas, the pro-LGBTQ and transgender communities are simple. Sambhavna has already said that it is forcing the transgender youth to make mental sacrifices. And in the third special season currently underway, parents of transgender children only added to the frustration and fatigue in their families.

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Lindsay Foster says she feels like she’s never heard of transgender rights advocacy. credit: Michael Gonzalez / The Texas Tribune

“I mean my health was affected by it. I have to sleep less, have hair loss and take different medications,” said a 7-year-old who lives in Austin. Said Foster, 42, the mother of a transgender girl. It’s the chronic stress we’re dealing with, because we take these short breaks between sessions that we think about. are we okay? At least we can take a break. Maybe then you can think about the strategy for the next season, because you know it’s coming. “But I haven’t even taken a break yet.”

Both Foster and Kreuzer asked for the names of their children so that they could not be used for their safety.

In August, Foster waited nearly 20 hours in a parliamentary hearing and appealed to the House Public Education Committee to “not support speculative legislation.”

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“The truth is that the bill is now directly harming transgender youth and their families,” Foster told committee members.

Just last week, Foster and Kraser took part in a demonstration organized by Equality Texas outside a Senate room to protest a committee hearing voted by legislators to advance a transgender sports bill on the Senate floor. . Foster and Cresser, along with a few other protesters, stood on the stairs outside the room and “enough” or “transgender children” when state police officers stood in favor of monitoring their noise levels. I chanted phrases like “save us” over and over again.

Both kids are too young to join the UIL sports team, but Foster and Kresser say they are interested in sports like soccer and basketball. However, he added that if SB3 is passed, the prospect of UIL competition is also unlikely to be an option.

“”[My daughter] Avid, but I keep thinking how awesome it would be to talk to him [one] Due to the day she was born and the fact that she is different, the sport on that day may not be her choice,” Foster said.

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Mr Cresser, from Houston, said he was looking forward to moving forward if the law for transgender daughters becomes law in Texas. One of the darkest moments in this series of sessions for her family is a bill by the Senate legislature to limit care to identify the sex of the child and classify the provision of care as child abuse. This was when it was passed.

“My daughter told me, ‘Do we have to move?'” recalled Kreuzer, 43.

Karen Kreuzer is the parent of a transgender child.  23 September 2021.

“It’s just going on, it’s ridiculous,” said mother of nine, Karen Klaser, of the amount of invoices she filed during a session for LGBTQ Texans. credit: Michael Gonzalez / The Texas Tribune

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He replied that many people in the Capitol were fighting to prevent this from happening.

“And she went on, ‘But if we go on, it will be my fault.’ And that’s a lot that kids have to experience,” Kreuzer said.

The Trevor Project, an LGBTQ youth suicide prevention and crisis intervention organization, wants help. From January 1 to August 30, crisis exposure to LGBTQ Texans increased by more than 150% compared to the same period last year. He said he did. According to a research report released this month by the organization, the majority of LGBTQ youth (about 70%) are not actively involved in sports, and “fear of bullying and discrimination is a major factor in their non-participation. list.”

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The organization said in a statement that the amount of significant contact it received from Texas this year was not due in part to any particular factor or law, but that “Texas transgender and non-binary youth are stressed. He directly states that he harmed himself.” and is contemplating suicide because of the debate over anti-LGBTQ legislation in the state.”

Proponents of Perry and SB3 claim that the law upholds the intent of women’s sports and Title IX, and that federally funded schools offer students based on gender, including activities such as sports. We are bound to provide equal opportunities.

“It’s about the safety and fairness of the peer group,” Perry said. “… it’s a bicameral process and you know where it [the bill] Go home I doubt this will pass. “

But opponents say the bill’s wording divides and denies transgender children and their identities, alienating them when they have already suffered bullying and mental health problems. I’m thinking

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“It’s meat,” Foster said of Perry’s claim. “It’s about getting people [to the Capitol]It’s about getting people to testify and raising the fear that transgender women (women, by the way) will take over the women’s game. “

Rebecca Bryant at her daughter's school on September 23, 2021 in Houston.  Brian continues to take his daughter Sunny to Austin, testifies to SB2 and claims the rights of transgender children.

Rebe Bryant at the Daughters School in Houston on September 23, 2021. credit: Annie Mulligan from Texas Tribune

Houston-based Rebecca Bryant has proposed a bill for transgender youth, such as her daughter Sunny, an eight-year-old transgender girl who has traveled to Austin at least six times since May this year and enjoys sports. Is. He said that he begged the MLAs not to pass. Baseball and Gymnastics.

Brian, 37, says frequent sessions put a financial burden on the family. When traveling to Austin, committee meetings often last all day and late into the night, so you’ll have to quit your job and book a hotel. Brian said earlier this year that Sunny really didn’t know there were people around the world who wouldn’t accept her, and that Brian and her husband didn’t have to publicly state that Sunny was transgender. said.

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“We had to show her her future, and I think it was really hard for my husband and I,” Bryant said. “We know she can be depressed, and we know that all of these mental health problems are linked to a society that doesn’t accept her… She herself didn’t know I’d feel resistance in my life. , but now I do. I think it hurt him and his mental health.”

Brian testified at least twice before the Legislative Committee, and Sunny twice gave his testimony.

“Let me play and jump in the house, peel my knees [plate]If your teammates score and feel free to run as fast as you can, please support us,” Sunny said last month before the House Public Education Committee.

Bryant said Sunny is usually playing with another child or on her iPad during committee hearings.

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Bryan said he expected SB3 or a similar bill not to become law until Sunny joined UIL Sports when she grew up. If that is the case then Sunny will probably have to stay in a private school.

“we, [public] This is a school that supports us, but I’m not sure we can legally support it,” Bryant says.

Kreuzer now says that he and his other parents are shifting their attention to the House of Representatives and how the bill will be implemented on the commission.

In a recent statement, Deputy Governor Dan Patrick noted that the Senate had passed a similar bill that had been rejected four times in the House of Representatives, adding that it would continue to push for full passage of the bill. .

“We cannot allow women to be excluded from sports scholarships or sports excellence,” Patrick said. “This is the fourth time the Senate has passed this bill. We will continue to pass it until the final bill is passed in Texas.”

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Brian hopes that one day he and Sonny won’t have to visit the Capitol in such harsh conditions, unless they need to see such a bill being reissued. He said that he would continue his engagement.

“His first visit to the Capital was supposed to be a school excursion rather than a defense of his humanity, so I hope we can turn that into something positive.” Brian said.

Disclosure: Equality Texas is a financial supporter of the Texas Tribune, a non-profit, non-partisan news agency partially funded by donations from members, foundations, and corporate sponsors. Financial supporters play no part in Tribune journalism. Find their full list here.

The 2021 Texas Tribune Festival, a week-long political and policy festival featuring celebrities and bold ideas, took place on September 25, but there is still time. Explore dozens of free on-demand events until midnight on Thursday, September 30th. , at tribefest.org.

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