Texas removes LGBTQ suicide prevention resources from state website

As the country’s most regressive states increasingly attack the rights of LGBTQ people, Texas is now blocking this community from dealing with the mental health impacts of their new bills.

As Florida continues to push its “Don’t Say Gay” bill, Texas also considered drafting more than 30 anti-trans bills into law in the last session.

As Governor Greg Abbott and State Attorney General Ken Paxton strive to frame transgender health care as a form of child abuse, Texas commits trans erasure in other ways too. .

The Texas Health and Human Services website has removed LGBTQ youth suicide prevention resources.

As of Feb. 1, the Texas website for HHS had included Project Trevor in a list of hotlines and resources people could contact if they needed help.

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They described it as “the leading national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and questioning youth under the age of 25”, and included the organization’s website, phone number, and text line.

However, all that remained on February 5 were the other 3 hotlines and resources that were listed before: the Suicide Prevention Lifeline, the Veterans Crisis Line and the Crisis Text line.

Although the Trevor Project’s phone number can still be found in a downloadable PDF of resources under “Parent and Youth Suicide Prevention”, it no longer indicates that the Trevor Project is an organization specific to LGBTQ youth and that is no longer as accessible as before.

This proves that Texas has no desire to protect young people who identify as LGBTQ.

Sam Ames, director of advocacy and government affairs at The Trevor Project, told NBC News that mental health is not a partisan issue – that the removal of suicide prevention resources from a government website “because ‘they’re specific to LGBTQ youth isn’t just offensive and misguided, it’s dangerous.”

“We’re talking about a group of young people who are more than four times more likely to attempt suicide compared to their peers,” Ames said, citing research from the Trevor Project.

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“Especially in this time of unprecedented political attacks on LGBTQ youth, we encourage all youth-serving organizations and government agencies to learn more about the Trevor Project’s life-saving crisis services and make them known to young people and families who need support the most,” Ames said. Project support to all, including Texans.

The Trevor Project is needed more than ever in the face of recent Abbott action.

After a recent anti-trans directive was introduced by Texas Governor Greg Abbott that called gender-claiming drugs “child abuse,” the Trevor Project had to speak out against the governor and voice their continued support. to LGBTQ youth in the state.

“We remain steadfast in our support of transgender and non-binary youth in Texas, the parents and doctors who care for them, and all of our volunteer counselors and emergency workers based in Texas and across the country. “, they said in a press release.

“The Trevor Project served over 14,500 calls, chats and texts from young LGBTQ Texans in crisis last year.”

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However, this isn’t the first time Texas has removed LGBTQ resources from government websites.

Texas officials removed a web page titled “Gender Identity and Sexual Orientation” and a page devoted to Texas Youth Connection, a program run by the Department of Family and Protective Services, which included a link to The Trevor Project after Abbott was criticized by his opposition for “supporting trans ideology” in August 2021.

The Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity page still shows an error message while the Texas Youth Connection website shows the same message as in October.

“The Texas Youth Connection website has been temporarily disabled for a full content review,” the website says. “This is done to ensure its information, resources and referrals are up to date.”

These actions are part of a much larger attack on trans rights that the country has seen in recent years, with society advancing too quickly for transphobic people.

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Isaac Serna-Diez is a writer who focuses on entertainment and current affairs, social justice and politics. Follow him on Twitter here.

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