Transgender sports bill: ‘Mr. Wright, why does my own state hate me?’

Ghosted image of protestors, one holding sign with text "trans rights are human rights" on blue background. Gold text below: Stand up against bullying, especially from the Texas Legislature

“Mr. Wright, why does my own state hate me?”

That’s something one of my students, with tears in their eyes, asked me last week. That’s how our transgender kids feel about Texas right now, and it should make us all angry.

I am a lifelong Texan, the father of a trans daughter, and I have worked in public education my entire career. I strongly oppose House Bill 25, which will soon be voted on by the Texas Legislature. And I’m asking you to do the same.

Please speak out against House Bill 25. HB 25 would bar our trans students from competing on sports teams consistent with their gender identities. It would ask me, their teacher, to enforce state-mandated discrimination — to deny them their Title IX rights.

As a parent and an educator, I know the uphill battles our trans students face simply trying to exist as the person they are. My own daughter, now in college, has talked about leaving Texas after graduation because “it’s just too much to deal with.” Do you know what that feels like as a parent?

My daughter found happiness in high school in video production. It kept her going through very difficult times. For many trans kids, sports fulfill the same purpose. The thought of denying them the right to that happiness — the right to come and participate as they are—is heartbreaking.

Will you help me stand up to bullies in the Legislature? This hurtful bill has come up in all four legislative sessions this year, and no one who authored it or supports it has been able to point to an actual problem with trans student athletes in competition.

HB 25 is a “solution” in search of a problem and a slap in the face to every trans kid and family in Texas. It’s bullying, plain and simple. I urge you to write your representative and tell them to oppose HB 25.


Stephen Wright
Houston Federation of Teachers member