We are writing today as a statement of solidarity with our transgender and non-binary students, families, alumni, staff, and stakeholders. At EMERGE, we deeply value and respect all identities and believe it is imperative to speak out against hate and misinformation when it arises.
On Wednesday, Governor Greg Abbot issued an order stating parents who allow their children to get gender-affirming medical care should be investigated for abuse by the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services. The order further directed teachers and other mandatory reporters to report trans-affirming families to child protective services, citing possible criminal penalties for those who refuse to comply.
The Governor’s statement has garnered national media attention and caused an uproar on social media. While his directive lacks legislative backing or an enforcement plan, we know from history that this type of rhetoric is dangerous to the safety and well-being of trans children in Texas and across the country. It incites fear and shame, and it should not be tolerated.
At EMERGE, we believe that all medical decisions impacting trans children are deeply personal and should be informed and driven by health-care experts, individuals and their families.
To our staff and students who are still processing the messages shared this week, we want you to know that EMERGE will always be a safe place where you will be accepted and supported for who you are and how you identify.
We will continue to monitor developments in this story but remain steadfast in our commitment to identify and disrupt the systems of oppression that limit access and agency in our student’s lives.
To all who are hurting today, we hold you in our hearts. You are not alone.