According to AlterNet, The Trevor Project, a resource and crisis service for LGBTQ youth, has seen a 150% increase in crisis calls coming in from Texas. All throughout the state, school districts have started discriminating against the LGBTQ community and people of color, and a modern-day witch hunt has begun to “purify” schools, libraries, and even the internet of any content that offers support to the LGBTQ community and people of color.
Most notable has been the rampant rise in “banned books” within the last two years, in which school districts, cities, and counties are being driven to demand that books get banned. These campaigns usually originate online and through social media, fostering Anti-LGBTQ Policies. The Philadelphia Inquirer cites the American Library Association (ALA), which says that requests to have books banned is up 60%. Even worse is what the paper calls “silent censorship”, which are the decisions school boards make when deciding what books get taught in the classroom. A school can easily choose not to teach using books about race or the LGBTQ community, as it’s a decision that doesn’t require public input.
The trans community in Texas especially has felt the repercussions of the state’s anti-LGBTQ fanaticism. Towards the end of last year, Texas Governor, Greg Abbot, signed HB25 into law, which now forces all student athletes to play on gendered sports teams that align with the gender marked on their birth certificate. According to The Texas Tribune, the law went into effect on January 18th. Even worse is that this bill was passed under the guise of “protecting women” as if the LGBTQ community somehow wishes to hurt women, despite the fact that women make up part of the LGBTQ community.
One Texas city, Katy, the westernmost suburb of Houston, has taken censorship to the next level and has put a content blocker on all of its school’s computers that prevent students from accessing websites with LGBTQ content, including websites like The Trevor Project and the Human Rights Campaign. According to PBS Houston, Cameron Samuels, a senior at Seven Lakes High School in Katy spoke out against the internet blockers at a public meeting, stating, “Yes, it is important to keep our children safe, but what does that mean when life-saving resources are blocked and students are prohibited from accessing them simply because of a discriminatory internet filter?”