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Texas rally against Gov. Abbot’s transphobic attacks

By Mark Napieralski

Arlington students rally for trans rights.

Arlington, TX – On March 23, Progressive Student Union at the University of Texas at Arlington held a protest condemning the transphobic attacks that Governor Greg Abbott and Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick have imposed on Texan families. Both men attempted to direct the state Department of Family and Protective Custody to consider gender reaffirming therapeutics, such as puberty blockers, hormonal treatment and other aspects of trans healthcare, to be classified as “child abuse,” thereby making both families that support their trans youth and licensed professionals who are either aware of or support said youths getting the necessary healthcare liable to charges of “child abuse” or “abetting child abuse.”

The demonstration had 20 participants, and several Progressive Student Union (PSU) members gave speeches regarding defending trans youth and condemning the agenda of Abbott’s administration. PSU’s Ren Butter stated, “We have to stand up against transphobia, because we see that they’re going to continually attack us for trying to live.”

Jay Rodriguez and Rick Majumdar spoke on the fact these attacks are happening as part of a national campaign to roll back the hard-fought civil liberties that the LGBTQ+ community has won over the years.

Mark Napieralski, chief organizer of PSU, brought the focus back to the University of Texas at Arlington as he said, “There are many lacking things regarding LGBTQ+ support on campus, despite the claims that they support diversity,” and he announced that PSU has five demands.

Then five members of PSU each spoke about the five-point demands that the organization was issuing to UTA: To have gender neutral housing units in every single dorm; have dispensers for menstrual healthcare products in every single gender neutral bathroom on campus; hiring more counselors who specialize in gender dysphoria and mental health issues related to the LGBTQ+ community; that President Teik C Lim and future president write a statement condemning transphobia and setting up policies to oppose transphobia on campus; and that UTA follow the city of Austin’s example and declare itself a sanctuary campus for the LGBTQ+ community.

PSU will be continuing to agitate and demand equity for the trans community on campus.

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