Texas removes LGBTQ youth suicide prevention resources from Health Department site

Texas authorities continue finding new ways to harm LGBTQ youth. The eagle-eyed Jo Yurcaba at NBC News (who I used to work with at Bustle) found that the state”;s Department of Health website quietly removed LGBTQ suicide prevention resources from its website. Instead of listing the phone number, website, and text line for the Trevor Project, as it did at the beginning of February, the website no longer includes any links for LGBTQ youth. Instead, information on the Trevor Project can only be found in a PDF for “;Parent and Youth Suicide Prevention”; but does not include information about the Trevor Project in the least bit. The prior language on the Health Department site stated that the nonprofit “;is the leading national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and questioning young people under 25.”;

When reached by Yurcaba, Trevor Project director of advocacy and government affairs Sam Ames condemned the Texas Department of Health”;s decision to remove the Trevor Project from its list of suicide prevention resources on its suicide prevention page. “;[Removing the resource] because they are specific to LGBTQ youth is not only offensive and wrong, it”;s dangerous,”; Ames said. This isn”;t the first time LGBTQ resources have been removed from Texas state government websites. According to NBC News, a resources portal for LGBTQ youth was removed from the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services website in August. Officials claim the webpage is under review but it has yet to come back online.

The persecution of LGBTQ individuals is a constant of authoritarian history. Whether White racist states or anti-colonial ones, homophobia becomes state policy. Abbott wants LGBTQ individuals to be seen as non-people (just like in the Hungary of GOP’s hero Orban).

–; Ruth Ben-Ghiat (@ruthbenghiat) March 4, 2022

Be it explicitly or quietly, deliberately targeting the LGBTQ community is “;a constant of authoritarian history,”; notes historian Ruth Ben-Ghiat. Texas”; actions have precedent and that history sure is frightening. But so are the actions of Gov. Greg Abbott, who is so glaringly transphobic, he wanted the state to investigate any parents of transgender children. Luckily, investigations tied to gender-affirming health care were blocked by a judge. But just because Abbott and his ilk seem almost heavy-handed in their evils doesn”;t mean they”;re the exception to Republican lawmakers. Indiana is awaiting Gov. Eric Holcomb”;s signature on an anti-trans athlete bill that passed the state Senate earlier this week. And Iowa most recently not only enacted an anti-trans athlete law but made it so that the discriminatory legislation goes into effect immediately.

With so much awful news for the LGBTQ community, it”;s sometimes hard to remain hopeful. If you are struggling, the Trevor Project remains an amazing resources for LGBTQ youth. There is also the GLBT Hotline, and the Trans Lifeline helps those in the trans community who may be in crisis. These resources should not be hidden, nor should they somehow be demonized for existing.

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Written by mettablog

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