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‘I’d rather be out than dead’: Families of transgender youth reflect on Texas’ anti-trans laws

 Luna, 14, stands in front of the POD that's getting shipped to their new home in Boston. Luna, who has been transitioning since 2021, and their family say they are being forced to move out of Texas because of legislation restricting transition-related care for minors.
Patricia Lim
/
KUT
Luna, 14, stands in front of the POD that's getting shipped to their new home in Boston. Luna, who has been transitioning since 2021, and their family say they are being forced to move out of Texas because of legislation restricting transition-related care for minors.

Luna, 14, and their family say they have no other option than to leave Texas.

“There’s not really any other way to progress forward,” Luna told The Texas Newsroom as she was helping their parents pack boxes of clothes and other household items. “They clearly want us out, or dead. So, I’d rather be out than dead.”

Luna's family packs their books away for their move to Boston.
Patricia Lim
/
KUT
Luna's family packs their books away for their move to Boston.

Luna, who is using a pseudonym because she fears for their safety, is transgender.

“Well, I used to be a boy — kind of,” Luna said. “I was never very good at it.”

She came out to their parents in 2021. She remembers being in a different room than them.

“I called across the house, ‘Hey Mom, Dad! Do you think it’d be cool if I start using she/her pronouns?' And they were like ‘OK!’" recalled Luna, who later started using she/they pronouns.

But now, Luna and their family say they are not OK after the Texas Legislature passed a measure earlier this year prohibiting the use of puberty blockers, hormone therapy and surgery for transgender people under 18.

So, they are moving.

Other families are staying but worry about raising a transgender kid in Texas, a state they no longer consider welcoming for their family.

Hear more from Luna and other families of transgender youth in Texas in the audio player above. Note: Some of the names used by the people we spoke with are not their real names – some of the families say they fear retaliation from the state of Texas.

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Sergio Martínez-Beltrán is the Texas Capitol Reporter for The Texas Newsroom. Got a tip? Email him at smb@kut.org. Follow him on Twitter @SergioMarBel.
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