A Message From Secretary Hunter: Statement of Support for Transgender Youth

March 29, 2022
A young person carrying the transgender flag against a blue sky background.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott recently created a nightmare for transgender youth by directing state officials to open child abuse investigations on families who supported and sought gender-affirming medical care for their children.

A Texas judge blocked this action – for now.   

Gov. Abbott’s directive is just one example of a wave of bills and legal action in our country that attack the human rights of transgender youth with regard to their identity, social movements, discussion of history, medical choices, and sports participation.

Politicians modeling and advocating prejudice against transgender youth could lead to increased suicidal ideation and suicide attempts among trans youth. Policies matter, and Texas decisions and legal processes are matters of life or death for trans youth.

Here at the Washington State Department of Children, Youth, and Families, we do not support the intimidation of families that access gender-affirming medical choices, efforts that discriminate based on gender identity, or weaponize the child welfare system against youth and families. This includes intimidation or discrimination concerning names/pronouns, gender expression, and placement of transgender youth in our foster care system, juvenile rehabilitation, pre-adoption homes, and facilities.

This is a troubling trend in our country. We won’t follow it.

We do not support public policy based on prejudice and cynical evaluations of political gain. We stand for all youth and all families in Washington.