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Letter to trans youth: Louisiana’s sports ban won’t defeat us

By staff |
June 9, 2022
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Fight Back News Service is circulating the following statement from the Real Name Campaign

Dear trans and gender non-conforming youth in Louisiana,

On June 6, our bigoted state government hit us hard when Democratic Governor John Bel Edwards allowed the anti-trans sports ban to become law. He tried to “play both sides” by criticizing the bill, but still refusing to veto. This decision was cowardly, and it stabbed us in the back. Democrats in the legislature deserted us, with 20 of them either abstaining or voting for the ban. Like last year, Democrats even co-authored the bill - Senators Gregory Tarver, Francis Thompson, and Malinda White.

We share your pain and sadness right now. Young people like you are already often confused, frustrated, and overwhelmed trying to find yourselves in general, even without counting how to understand your gender identity. This attack can feel like the straw that might break the camel’s back. You deserve all the time you need to heal and process. 

The billionaire, corporate-backed Republican Party scapegoats the trans community, its young in particular, to score political points and shore up what they call “traditional family values.” Their conservative idea of a family is a straight household, with patriarchal gender roles, that consistently reproduces the labor force. They erase any family that might be supportive of its transgender and non-binary children. They deny that trans people, young and old, create our own families. They tremble at how our families flourish despite attacks against them. 

Just because we can’t rely on the ruling political parties doesn’t mean that we have no one. Remember that governors and legislators don’t make history, the people do. You’re a target of the evangelical right before you can even vote– but you’ve taken political action anyway. You’ve walked out of schools, testified in front of legislative committees, and blocked city streets to let the whole state know you won’t roll over. The legislature dealt us a loss, but we’ve made our own wins. More students, teachers, social workers, parents, and LGBTQ community members came out to defend our democratic rights than ever in recent memory. And remember: we stopped Don’t Say Gay and the Trans Youth Medical Ban in their tracks. 

By organizing, we’ve steeled ourselves to keep fighting. We’re in position to stop this law from causing more harm. We’re ready to fight for accessible name and gender marker changes. We have the forces to take on future anti-LGBTQ laws. We can defend against the bigoted violence that’s claimed too many Black trans lives. 

Last year, through marches, phone calls, emails, rallies, lobbying, and civil disobedience, we delayed the sports ban’s passage. The year before that, we used mass action to cut the Orleans Parish name change fee by $256, and this year established the LA Trans Name Change Fund and Peer Support program for people over 18. More victories are coming, and they’ll keep coming as long as we stay in the struggle. 

Love and Solidarity,

Organizers in Real Name Campaign NOLA 

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