State Lawmakers Are Still Waging a Baseless War on Transgender Youth

"There simply is no actual problem posed by inclusive sports programs."

State legislators in Texas are the latest in the United States to advance an anti-transgender bill, furthering the GOP's dangerous, unscientific crusade against trans youth.

After listening to 10 hours of heart-wrenching testimonies, the Texas House Select Committee on Constitutional Rights and Remedies voted in favor of advancing House Bill 25, an anti-trans bill, on Wednesday (October 6). HB25 would bar trans and gender non-conforming youth from participating in student athletics alongside their cisgender peers. It is now one step closer to becoming law.

Testifying before the committee during Wednesday's hearing, Sarah Warbelow, legal director of the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), said there "simply is no actual problem posed by inclusive sports programs." In fact, many of the Republican lawmakers pushing these bills struggle to provide examples of trans kids in sports.

"The argument that transgender girls will take over girls’ sports relies on harmful, sexist stereotypes reinforced by misinformation spread by opponents of equality who have no compunction about scoring political points at the expense of innocent transgender kids just trying to navigate their adolescence," Warbelow told committee members.

In fact, according to a recent study from Outsports, openly LGBTQ high school and college athletes actually reported high levels of acceptance among their teammates. Of the 820 athletes surveyed, 95% said their teammates' responses to them coming out were somewhere between "neutral" or "perfect." Less than 5% reported "bad" or worse responses.

HB25 is just one of an unprecedented number of anti-trans bills introduced this year in different states across the U.S. Since the start of 2021, HRC has tracked 25 new anti-LGBTQ laws, 13 of which target trans youth.

An even more staggering 280 anti-LGBTQ bills have been introduced across 13 states this session. Almost half of them (46%) are specifically anti-trans.

Like HB25, many of these bills take aim at trans youth in sports. Some, including particularly insidious bans on gender-affirming health care for minors, have been signed into law and are already making life hellish for trans kids and their loved ones.

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