'Within 24 Hours After President Trump’s Tweet Regarding Transgender Military Service Members, Contacts From Transgender Individuals Spiked'
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Last week President Donald Trump unleashed a stunning attack on the transgender community, announcing without even having previously hinting that he was banning all transgender service members from America's armed forces. And Texas Republican lawmakers have announced the introduction of yet another "bathroom bill" targeting transgender people in the Lone Star State. On Thursday about 100-150 conservative Christians protested in Texas, demanding lawmakers vote on the discriminatory legislation.
Those two attacks on the transgender community have led to a "dramatic spike" in calls from transgender people, including trans youths, to the nation's largest LGBTQ suicide prevention hotline.
The Trevor Project on Wednesday said that on average, 7.3 percent of the calls they receive each day are from people who self-identify as transgender.
"However, within 24 hours after President Trump’s tweet regarding transgender military service members, contacts from transgender individuals spiked to 17.5 percent of all contacts," the organization said in a statement. "Furthermore, in the week after the Texas legislature introduced the anti-trans 'bathroom bill,' contacts from transgender young people doubled to 14.7 percent."
“This data makes clear that our elected officials can no longer ignore that their anti-transgender rhetoric is putting lives at risk,” Trevor Project CEO and Executive Director Amit Paley said in the statement.
“Anti-LGBTQ rhetoric and legislation directly leads to crisis among our community’s young people. While The Trevor Project will continue to be there for them around the clock, our elected officials must stop throwing young people into crisis for political gain. Discrimination is un-American, and we will hold to account those legislators who attack the most vulnerable members of the LGBTQ community.”
Another LGBT organization, Equality Texas, has been battling the attempt by the religious far right, who have teamed up with Gov. Greg Abbott, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, and anti-LGBT activists, to pass the anti-transgender "bathroom bill."
The group posted this tweet showing how these attacks from the President and elected lawmakers lead to double-digit increases in calls from Texans to the Trevor Project:
"As an adult living my life as a transgender man, I know first hand what it feels like to feel scared, alone, and vulnerable," Equality Texas transgender programs coordinator Lou Weaver said in a statement. "Throughout the 85th legislative session here in Texas, and now in the Special Session, Equality Texas has been on the frontlines fighting against the anti-transgender rhetoric and public discourse espoused by elected officials at the Capitol.”
"It’s summertime," Chuck Smith, CEO of Equality Texas added. "Families with children should be having fun and reconnecting during their summer break. Instead, families with trans youth are traveling for hours to testify against bathroom bills, because the lieutenant governor has decided to pick on an already bullied group of kids. The news from the Trevor Project regarding the spike in communications is heartbreaking."
Image via Wikimedia