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US women soccer players wear 'Protect Trans Kids' wristbands to protest Texas' anti-trans order

Earlier this week, Governor Abbott said that parents providing gender-affirming care will be prosecuted as child abusers.

US women soccer players wear 'Protect Trans Kids' wristbands to protest Texas' anti-trans order
KASHIMA, JAPAN - AUGUST 02: Becky Sauerbrunn #4 of Team United States at the Tokyo Olympic Games at Kashima Stadium on August 02, 2021 in Kashima, Ibaraki, Japan. (Photo by Naomi Baker/Getty Images)

Trigger warning: This story contains themes of transphobia that some readers may find distressing.

Members of the US women's soccer team stood up for trans kids during a match held in Texas. The women's team won the SheBelieves Cup on Wednesday night in Frisco, Texas, and wore white wristbands with the message: "PROTECT TRANS KIDS." Catarina Macario, Megan Rapinoe, Kristie Mewis, Margaret Purce, Andi Sullivan, and captain Becky Sauerbrunn were some of the players who wore wristbands in support of trans children and their families in their 5-0 win over Iceland. The players made their stand clear after Texas governor, Greg Abbott has announced via letter that he would criminalize gender-confirming care for transgender kids and consider it as child abuse. In a letter, Governor Abbott also said that parents providing gender-affirming care will be prosecuted as child abusers, reported Yahoo News. Captain Becky Sauerbrunn slammed the governor's letter as monstrous.



Macario, who scored two goals and was named MVP, spoke about the importance of using the platform to support trans children and their families. "With the platform we have, we really wanted to show why this team is different and why we do things that are much bigger than just the game," said Macario. "It was just a way to show awareness, especially because we were playing in Texas. I wanted to make sure everyone was able to see it, and it wasn't just another thing getting [swept] under the rug."





Governor Abbott also enabled vigilantism by calling on “licensed professionals” and “members of the general public” to report the parents of transgender minors who provide gender-affirming medical care to minors. The letter was addressed to the Department of Family and Protective Services, and asked it to report instances of minors undergoing “elective procedures for gender transitioning.” Earlier Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton claimed that allowing minors to receive transition care such as puberty blockers, hormone therapy and surgery amounted to child abuse under state law. 



LGBTQ advocates slammed the statement of the Texas Attorney General and the letter written by the governor. “There’s no court in Texas or the entire country that has ever found that gender-affirming care can constitute child abuse,” said Adri Pèrez, policy and advocacy strategist for LGBTQ equality at the American Civil Liberties Union of Texas. Brian Klosterboer, a staff attorney at the ACLU of Texas also slammed the announcement. “The law is clear that parents, guardians, and doctors can provide transgender youth with treatment in accordance with prevailing standards of care. Any parent or guardian who loves and supports their child and is taking them to a licensed health care provider is not engaging in child abuse,” said Klosterboer.



Many other celebrities also slammed the move by the Texas governor and Attorney General including Gabrielle Union, Kerry Washington, Jamie Lee Curtis and Elliot Page. The 'Inception' actor said he was "horrified by the inhumane and downright dangerous declarations" and made a case for trans kids. "Trans youth deserve gender-affirming care and to be able to live their true, authentic selves without fear and oppression," he told Variety. "I stand with trans youth and their families.”



Gabrielle Union, whose 14-year-old stepdaughter is a trans child also called out the move. “This is where we are,” she tweeted. “We shot past dangerous and horrific a long time ago. The rubber has hit the road so who is standing shoulder to shoulder in this fight?” Kerry Washington also came out strongly against the letter. “My heart goes out to the entire Trans community of Texas and their families,” wrote the actor. “Texas, this is happening in your state. Now is the time to use your voice and your VOTE.” Jon Cryer tweeted, "This is horrifying. Kids will die because of this.”



If you're trans and are being subjected to abuse, or need any help, please reach out to TRANS LIFELINE at 877-330-6366

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