Hundreds of LGBTQ+ activists protested outside Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s mansion after he called for investigations into the parents of trans children.
On 13 March, around 500 people took part in a demonstration against the state’s anti-trans initiatives.
They held signs that featured messages such as “Protect Trans Kids” and “Defend Trans Rights”.
The protest, which took place in Austin, was live streamed on Twitch to ensure that those unable to attend could still get involved.
Many of its attendees gave speeches about trans rights to the audience.
Among these was Diamond Stylz, executive director of Black Transwomen, Inc., who said: “One of my favourite African proverbs is: ‘Until the lion tells the story, the hunter will always be the hero.’
“I think that’s important in this time because what these people are doing is a legacy of trying to demonise marginalised people. They try to use fear tactics to make it seem like getting our affirming care is a bad thing, but healthcare is not abuse.”
It was initially reported that “duelling rallies” would be taking place, though only six people attended the counter protest – resulting in pro-LGBTQ+ advocates outnumbering their counterparts by 50-1, according to Liberation News.
The demonstration followed news that Texas had “initiated investigations” into parents of trans adolescents as a result of a letter sent by Abbott on 22 February.
Addressed to the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS), the 64-year-old wrote “all licensed professionals who have direct contact with children who may be subject to such abuse, including doctors, nurses, and teachers” should report it immediately or face “criminal penalties”.
He also compared gender-affirming care for trans youth to “child abuse” and ordered investigations into parents allowing their children to have it.
Despite a temporary injunction halting the probes being issued on 11 March, a minimum of nine families were subjected to investigations into giving their children the care they need.
Chris Mosier, the first-ever out trans person to compete in an Olympic trial, attended the protest and said: “We know that this is not about sports or health care or gender markers on IDs.
“This is about trying to keep trans kids from growing up to be trans adults like me, and we are not here for it. We cannot let that happen.”