Camp Fire’s National Youth Advisory Cabinet Stands With Trans* Youth
As Camp Fire’s National YAC we want to say to the LGBTQ2S+ youth of Texas and Florida – young person to young person – you are magic. We stand in solidarity with you and your families and will do everything in our power to stand up for your right to be exactly who you are.
We are extremely saddened by the actions taken by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott against Trans* youth and their families. Gender-affirming health care is literally life-saving for Trans* youth. Threatening the health and family safety of Trans* young people is cruel and discriminatory. We also absolutely do not support Florida’s recent bill HB 1557 “Don’t Say Gay” which restricts schools from discussing LGBTQ+ identities. Representation is life-saving and the state of Florida’s refusal to acknowledge identities that account for more than half of young people in America today is a disgusting display of political manipulation and blatant attack on LGBTQ2S+ youth that is abhorrent and unacceptable.
To the young people of the United States and Camp Fire, we ask you to take action. Even if we are too young to vote, we can be an agent of change. Below we have included a list of organizations to follow and support that have direct actions you can take to fight the discrimination that is happening in Texas. Our Trans* siblings need us.
To the adults of our country and Camp Fire, now is the time to show up for Trans* youth. Donate. Advocate. Educate. Vote.
We have also included below scripts you can use to call and email Texas Governor Greg Abbott and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis to make clear to them that the young people, staff, and families of Camp Fire are watching and we absolutely condemn their violence against young Trans* people and their families.
Camp Fire believes in the dignity and the intrinsic worth of every human being. And we will stand together in support of each other. Always.
Below are organizations you can follow and support that have direct actions you can take to support Trans* youth in Texas.
Organizations to Follow
General Advocacy Resources
Scripts to Call/Email The Governors of Florida and Texas
Email Script – FL HB 1557/ “Don’t Say Gay” 2/2022
Gov. Ron DeSantis,
Nearly HALF of LGBTQ2S+ young people have seriously considered suicide in the last 12 months. How can we reduce these grim statistics? By believing and supporting young people. The risk of suicide is cut in half when an LGBTQ+ young person has JUST ONE space in their life where they feel affirmed in who they are. Pitting every adult in their lives and the state of Florida against their very existence isn’t going to help.
Major contributing factors to LGBTQ2S+ youth depression, anxiety, and suicidality are: not feeling supported by parents/caretakers/teachers, being physically, emotionally, and mentally abused by unsupportive parents; fear of becoming homeless if parents/caretakers find out that they are LGBTQ2S+ and being constantly told by political leaders that they do not exist and SHOULD not exist. Bills such as CS/CS/HB 1557 act to further alienate and stigmatize young LGBTQ+ people. For more than six years study after study has shown that more than half of young people in the US today identify as something other than “heterosexual.” By refusing to acknowledge those identities, the state of Florida is refusing to acknowledge more than half of the young people in your care and significantly increasing their risk of negative life outcomes.
Phone script – FL HB 1557/ “Don’t Say Gay” 2/2022
“Hello, I am calling to say I do not support Florida bill HB 1557 that restricts schools from discussing LGBTQ2S+ identities. Representation is life-saving and the state of Florida’s refusal to acknowledge identities that account for more than half of young people in America today is a disgusting display of political manipulation and blatant attack on LGBTQ2S+ youth that is abhorrent and unacceptable. Do better.”
Email Script – Transgender Health Care in TX 2/2022
Your recent support of AG Ken Paxton’s “interpretation” of transgender healthcare for minors as abuse is a gross misrepresentation of what Transgender health care is, and contradicts the best practices of leading state, national, and global health organizations such as the World Health Organization and the national Centers for Disease Control. Findings from the National Academy of Medicine and the US Department of Health and Human Services in 2020 confirmed that Trans* and Non-binary people already experience higher rates of violence, victimization, mental health, and substance abuse disorders compared to non-trans* people. According to surveys conducted by The Trevor Project, more than half of Trans* and Non-binary youth have seriously considered suicide in the last 12 months. You should be asking why and what you and the state of Texas can do to lower these numbers. Criminalizing parents and caretakers who are simply trying to save their children’s lives is not it.
85% of transgender and nonbinary youth say that recent debates around anti-trans bills have negatively impacted their mental health.
Proposed legislation that would ban doctors from prescribing gender-affirming medical care like puberty blockers or hormone replacement therapy to transgender and nonbinary youth make 73% of transgender and nonbinary youth feel angry, 57% feel sad, 47% feel stressed, 40% feel scared, and more than 1 in 3 feel hopeless, helpless, and/or nervous.
Access to gender-affirming health care saves lives. The risk of suicidal ideation and self-harm among Trans* and Non-binary youth is cut in half when they have JUST ONE space in their lives where they can express themselves authentically. One of the leading causes of LGBTQ2S+ young people experiencing anxiety, depression, and outrageously disproportionate numbers of suicide is the politicization of their identities. Not only does your proposal to constitute gender-affirming care as abuse hurt Trans* and Non-binary young people, it invalidates and restricts resources from young people in Texas who are actually being abused and neglected.
Phone Script – Transgender Health Care in TX 2/2022
“Hello, I am calling to demand Governor Greg Abbott recant his recent opinions on transgender healthcare for young people. AG Ken Paxton’s “interpretation” of transgender healthcare for minors as abuse is a gross misrepresentation of what Transgender health care is, and contradicts the best practices of leading state, national, and global health organizations such as the World Health Organization and the national Centers for Disease Control. This opinion will cost LGBTQ2S+ young people their lives. Do better.”
There is a lot happening in the world and in the news right now. While we think that being informed is important, we also need to make sure we are checking in with ourselves and each other and giving our brains breaks. We also need to be vigilant about where we are getting our information from and practicing digital literacy when taking-in and sharing information.
Below are some resources you can use to check in with yourself and protect your mental health. We have also provided some digital literacy best practices to keep in mind.
Resources For Adults
- Always look for sources that are centering the voices of the people in that community you are researching – Go to those organizations first for your information.
- When looking at statistics: see how many times that same stat has been published. The more sources that use that stat, the more reliable the information.
- Do research on who is providing the information – what is the motive for sharing that info? What is the author’s background?
- Fact-checking tools
This blog post originally appeared on campfire.org/blog