Some mothers of LGBTQ+ children are celebrating this Mother’s Day by speaking out in support of their kids.
The Human Rights Campaign is releasing notes from supportive moms answering the prompt “This Mother’s Day, I want you to know…” to provide uplifting messages to their own kids and other LGBTQ+ youth at a time when these young people are under attack in state legislatures across the nation.
More than 250 anti-LGBTQ+ bills have been introduced this year, and as of last Friday, 17 had been signed into law; both numbers set records. Many of the bills target young people, especially transgender youth, seeking to deny them gender-affirming medical care or keep them from competing in school sports under their lived gender. Some others seek to erase LGBTQ+ content from school curricula.
These attacks from legislators, often influenced by far-right activists, “are based on nothing but fear and discrimination and hate,” says Rachel Gonzales, a Dallas mother of three, the eldest of whom is a transgender girl, Libby.
This is the third consecutive legislative session in Texas that has seen such legislation surface. State lawmakers are considering restrictions on trans kids’ sports participation and health care; one bill would even criminalize parents if they facilitate gender-affirming care for a trans child.
“We have to have the same conversations every year to defend the legitimacy of our daughter’s existence,” Gonzales says.
She and her husband, Frank, have been outspoken in support of their trans daughter, who’s 11, and their middle daughter, 8-year-old Cecilia, has become an activist as well. Among other things, Cecilia recently spoke at an HRC press conference. “She is very proud to stand up for her sister,” Gonzales says.
Gonzales knows not every parent can be public about their support for LGBTQ+ children; some may even feel their jobs and livelihoods are in danger if they come forward. But she encourages every parent who can speak out to do so, as this rash of legislation endangers children.
“We need all the help we can get to stand up for our kids,” she says.
On the next pages, see the notes from Gonzales and other moms; many of them are members of HRC’s Parents for Transgender Equality National Council.