After legislation was passed in Texas curtailing access to gender-affirming care for trans youth, the Galileo Church in Fort Worth began working to help families get healthcare for their children.
The Catholic church and LGBTQ+ communities have been at odds with each other for forever, but this church’s move to support trans kids extends a small olive branch to the queer community.
Galileo Church’s program to gain healthcare for these kids is called the North Texas TRANSportation Network. On their denomination’s site, a statement reads: “We believe that God, through Christ, has welcomed all to God’s heart. Period. We want our society to reflect that, so we rally in Dallas or lobby in Austin or parade in Fort Worth or whatever it takes to get it done.”
The network is a direct response to the 88th Texas State Legislatures passage of SB14 signed into law in June 2023. The law criminalizes providing gender-affirming health care to trans minors, including puberty blockers and hormone therapies.
To access this health care through the church, families can apply for a travel grant to get the care they need in a state that offers gender-affirming care to minors. Once an application is received an application specialist will confirm with the family that a child is in need of gender-affirming care before sending the family $1000 for travel expenses. There is no income requirement to apply.
Listed on the church’s site is a list of “missional priorities,” the first of which states “we do justice for LGBTQ+ humans, and support the people who love them.” The second priority is “kindness for people with mental illness and in emotional distress, and celebrate neurodiversity.”
LGBTQ+ friendly churches are popping up around the country. To find a queer-friendly church near you search with Gaychurch.org, a database of nearly all LGBTQ+ safe churches in the country.