Scapegoating is the typical M.O. for many politicians who wish to remain in power without actually helping their constituents. During the COVID-19 pandemic, and after the January 6 riots, Republicans have been very busy doing everything they can to not address those issues. Instead, they’ve found an easy victim to blame for the world’s problems: trans people, with a focus on trans women and girls in particular.
The excuses they’ve been throwing around sound more like fearmongering, stating that trans women in women’s bathrooms would result in “Peeping Toms” and that trans girls playing on girls’ sports teams would actually be men competing against women in order to win at sports.
Sadly, these tactics have worked incredibly well, largely due to the ingrained homophobia and transphobia in our society. In 2021 alone, there have already been 10 states who have enacted anti-transgender measures, with a dozen more states who have proposed bills. Texas is the most recent to join the list, passing a bill forcing trans students to play on sports teams that coincide with their gender at birth, not the gender they identify with.
The Texas bill (known formally as HB25) uses gender to stoke fears amongst Texans. According to NBC News, Rep. Valoree Swanson stated, it’s “all about girls and protecting them…It’s very important that we, who got elected to be here, protect our girls.” Which inherently says that trans girls and trans women are dangerous and need to be feared.
This is all sadly ironic, considering that the Republican party has been endlessly crying foul at the idea of vaccine mandates, calling it an invasion of people’s personal information, but forcing teenagers to hand over birth certificates before they can play volleyball doesn’t cross that line?
According to The Texas Tribune, many Texans are vowing to fight back against the law, with Equality Texas leading the charge. In the article, Ricardo Martinez, the nonprofit’s CEO, stated, “Our organizations will also begin to shift focus to electing pro-equality lawmakers who understand our issues and prioritize representing the vast majority of Texans who firmly believe that discrimination against trans and LGBTQ people is wrong.”
Currently, the law is set to take effect on January 18th.