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From them.: As a trans teen in Texas, I’ve been fighting for my right to exist since I was 12

From them.: As a trans teen in Texas, I’ve been fighting for my right to exist since I was 12
Photo credit:
Landon Richie

In this op-ed published on them., Landon Richie, an 18-year-old trans activist, discusses the psychological toll of Texas’ relentless stream of anti-trans legislation on youth in the state, who are forced to defend their rights over and over again.

Picture this: The living room erupts into the clamor of clinking champagne glasses as the clock strikes midnight. Times Square illuminates the TV screen. It’s the celebration of a new year, and all the new beginnings it can bring. But for trans youth in Texas, that celebration is clouded by dread: The state legislature, which meets every other year, is set to convene in just a matter of days. It will persist for at least four and a half months, during which time your rights will be up for public debate. Your livelihood will soon become a pawn in a vicious game of political chess.

Trans youth here are exhausted. Those who are on the frontlines are deemed tireless, but we are tired. In a year where our country saw a historic legislative assault on transgender youth, Texas has filed more than 60 anti-LGBTQ+ bills, according to the advocacy group Equality Texas. That’s the most in any state legislative session, ever, and many of those bills directly targeted trans youth like me. Much to the relief of transgender kids and our families, the last anti-trans bill was defeated on the last day of the regular session, but less than a month later, Governor Greg Abbott announced a special session during which he prioritized barring trans girls from youth sports.

Read the full story on them. HERE.