After a year of nonstop assaults on trans rights in Texas, allies and activists took to the streets this week in Austin -- literally -- to declare that trans lives matter.
Trucks, on behalf of the online trans and queer health platform Folx Health, drove around the state capital during Trans Awareness Week displaying messages on their sides including "protect trans youth" and "trans lives are precious."
In a post on Instagram, Folx Health shared that during Trans Awareness Week, it wanted to send a message loud and clear to the capitol, but that also "awareness" is only the beginning.
"We need to go beyond awareness. Most people are 'aware' that trans people exist. We must take action and continue to fight for our trans family. We must #ProtectTransYouth," the platform wrote, explaining why the need for this message is so dire. "This year, the right-wing legislature has introduced over 100 anti-trans bills in the US. Texas most recently banned trans youth from playing sports with their peers, continuing the assault on trans liberation. This #TransAwarenessWeek and every week of the year, we proclaim our ongoing love, adoration, support, solidarity, and celebration of our trans community amid ongoing attacks from lawmakers."
Over the past year, Republican lawmakers have been systematically targeting trans rights. They successfully passed a law banning transgender students from playing school sports -- a move that Folx Health called part of an "assault on trans liberation." They also put forward bills that would classify gender-affirmation surgery in minors as child abuse, and removed a web page from a state-run website that included information about a suicide prevention hotline for LGBTQ+ youth. Next up, they're targeting LGBTQ+ books in schools.
One thing is very clear: If there has ever been a call for speaking out against this agenda and messaging, it's now -- everywhere from the side of a truck to the ballot box.