The Latest Anti-Trans Directive in Texas


On February 22, 2022, Governor Greg Abbott sent out a letter stating that all “licensed professionals” and “members of the general public” should report parents of transitioning children receiving gender-affirming medical care. Greg Abbott included that licensed professionals and members of the general public who do not note transitioning children could receive criminal penalties. This highly contested bill has made many across Texas speak up. For instance, the American Civil Liberties Union, ACLU of Texas, and Lambda Legal worked to file a lawsuit against this directive on March 1. Moreover, a judge issued an injunction against the enforcement of the directive.

However, Ken Paxton, Texas Attorney General, stated that minors who can have transition care are under “child abuse” through state law and published a tweet suggesting that he will ignore the injunction. NBC News writes, “Paxton issued the opinion after the Legislature failed last year to pass a bill that would have made it a felony alongside physical and sexual abuse to provide such care to minors. An opinion is an interpretation of existing law; it does not change the law itself but can affect how it is enforced.”

This directive is not the first time Texas has issued anti-trans bills. This January, Texas enforced a bill forcing transgender students to participate in sports teams of their birthed sex. While the enforcement of this recent anti-trans bill is still a gray area, state child welfare officials claimed they would take a deeper look into it, and some county and district attorneys have insisted they will not enforce the opinion. In effect, this bill would prohibit puberty blockers and hormone drugs from adolescents with the label of “child abuse,” and many believe this goes against medical information. 

The Endocrine Society, which studies endocrinology and hormone-based drugs, stated, “medical evidence, not politics, should inform treatment decisions. The governor’s directive reflects widespread misinformation about gender-affirming care. When young children experience feelings that their gender identity does not match the sex recorded at birth, the first course of action is to support the child in exploring their gender identity and to provide mental health support, as needed.” The Endocrine Society also stated that their care regards reversible treatment for all minors. Thus, Abbott’s bill harms trans-youth and spreads misinformation. 

President Biden said in response, “Transgender children bring fulfillment to their parents, joy to their friends, and are made in the image of God. Affirming a transgender child’s identity is one of the best things a parent, teacher, or doctor can do to help keep children from harm, and parents who love and affirm their children should be applauded and supported, not threatened, investigated, or stigmatized.” Abbott’s bill is questioned for having political motives, as Abbott is in his primary election and is using political tactics to influence the votes of Texas conservatives. This act of political motivation is detrimental to transitioning transgender adolescents who will now be afraid to express themselves for fear of being reported or having their parents reported as child abusers. Therefore, this bill not only suppresses self-expression but will further prohibit many from finding out who they are.

The New Yorker interviewed Janet Murphy, mother of a thirteen-year-old trans child, who said, “I’m such a planner, so I’m like, O.K., I’ve got to make sure that we have cash. Where are we going to go? What’s our first stop, second stop, if someone’s going to come and try to take my child?” Families of trans children should not live in fear of having their children taken away for being who they are. 

To help support trans families and trans children during this time, you can go to websites including the Central Texas Transgender Health Coalition, Transgender Education Network of Texas,, Allgo, TransYouth Family Allies, Thrive Youth Center, The Montrose Center, The National Center for Transgender Equality, Trans Lifeline, and more. We must support trans people during this troubling time.

Works Cited

Monroe, Rachel. “At Home with the Families Affected by Texas’s New Anti-Trans Orders.” The New Yorker, 9 Mar. 2022, 

Sanchez, Chelsey. “How to Support Trans Youth in Texas.” Harper’s BAZAAR, Harper’s BAZAAR, 24 Feb. 2022, 

Treisman, Rachel. “Fact Check: Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s Misleading Remarks on the State’s Abortion Law.” NPR, NPR, 8 Sept. 2021, 

“Texas Governor Calls on Citizens to Report Parents of Transgender Kids For Abuse.”, NBCUniversal News Group, 23 Feb. 2022, 

Perez, Magdalen. “The Weekender: March 10 to 13.” Boston University, 9 Mar. 2022, 

Dey, Sneha, and Karen Brooks Harper. “Transgender Texas Kids Are Terrified after Governor Orders That Parents Be Investigated for Child Abuse.” The Texas Tribune, The Texas Tribune, 28 Feb. 2022, 

Waller, Allyson. “Restrictions on Transgender Student Athletes’ Participation in School Sports Signed into Law by Gov. Greg Abbott.” The Texas Tribune, The Texas Tribune, 25 Oct. 2021, 

Ghorayshi, Azeen. “Texas Governor Pushes to Investigate Medical Treatments for Trans Youth as ‘Child Abuse’.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 23 Feb. 2022, 

Press, The Associated. “A Judge Has Blocked a Texas Investigation of One Transgender Teen’s Parents.” NPR, NPR, 3 Mar. 2022,