‘Trans lives are precious’ billboards light up Texas after wave of hurtful transphobia

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Large billboards reading “Trans lives are precious” and “Protect trans youth” are decorating Austin, Texas, to celebrate Transgender Awareness Week.

One of the billboards is displayed on the back of a truck parked on a Pride rainbow crossing in downtown Austin, while another is on a truck parked in one of the city’s parks.

A third with “Folx Health” – the name of the private trans health clinic that paid for and erected the three billboards – written on it is also parked in Austin.

The colourful show of solidarity with trans and non-binary people comes weeks after Texas governor Greg Abbott signed into law a bill banning trans students from playing on school sports teams that align with their gender identity.

The law, House Bill 25, makes Texas the 10th state to enact a transphobic sports ban.

A billboard reading “protect trans youth” in Austin, Texas. (Folx Health)
A billboard reading “protect trans youth” in Austin, Texas. (Folx Health)

House Bill 25 requires students who compete in interscholastic competitions to play on sports teams of the gender corresponding to the sex they were assigned at birth. This will apply to students enrolled at public K-12 schools in Texas when it takes effect on 18 January, according to the Texas Tribune.

Similar legislation has been passed in Montana, Idaho, South Dakota, Arkansas, Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee, Florida and West Virginia.

After Texas passed its transphobic sports ban, one parent of a trans kid who is uprooting their family, after six generations of living in Texas, and fleeing the state warned that the fight for trans rights will bleed over into other states as the hateful bill is “just a foot in the door“.

Others are lining up to sue the state, with one proud mum of a trans girl saying she will sue Texas for treating her daughter like a “second-class citizen“.

The billboards in Austin, Texas, are meant to give hope and support to trans people living in the state.

They follow a viral billboard campaign, also by Folx Health, on Trans Day of Visibility that saw a a billboard reading “Trans lives are precious” erected outside Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort.

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