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Transgender advocates: Mere consideration of ‘anti-trans’ legislation literally kills trans people, creates a ‘murderous settler state’

Erik McGregor/LightRocket via Getty Images

Texas Republican Gov. Greg Abbott urged state lawmakers this month to make legislation barring biological males from competing in women's sports a priority in the state's third legislative session. According to LGBTQ advocates, the mere consideration of the bill could be deadly for transgender persons.

The 19th reported Monday that "as greater numbers of anti-trans bills have been introduced across more states within the last two years, more trans homicides have taken place in those states."

The progressive news site, citing LGBTQ advocates, proceeded to draw a direct correlation between the two trends, effectively placing blame on Republican lawmakers for an increase in transgender homicides even while adding that "more research is needed."

"Local and national LGBTQ+ advocates worry that regardless of whether the bills pass, the language in and around them that characterizes trans girls as boys will spur violent, potentially deadly attacks and worsen mental health among an already vulnerable population," the 19th report read.

Christina DeJong, an associate professor at Michigan State University, and Eric Stanley, an associate professor at University of California-Berkeley, argued that any and all legislation promoting biological sex over gender identity creates a "murderous settler state."

"Anti-trans legislation helps generalize anti-trans violence as not only permissible, but supported by the state," the two wrote in an email to the outlet. "In other words, those that enact anti-trans violence on the individual level are acting under the authority of a murderous settler state. The two are entwined in a deadly knot."

The 19th noted that Texas has led the charge, having introduced more than 40 bills "targeting trans youth," triple the number of any other state. At the same time, more than 35 trans people have been killed so far this year, according to the Human Rights Campaign. Four of those murders took place in Texas.

"We just have a fraction of the data and can see that we're in crisis," Victoria Kirby York, deputy executive director of the National Black Justice Coalition, told the outlet. "It's past epidemic, and these state legislatures are making things worse."

"The longer we have conversations that dehumanize and rob the dignity of trans Texans, these numbers will continue to rise," Emmett Schelling, executive director for the Transgender Education Network of Texas, reportedly said during a protest in August.

Schelling claims that Texas Republicans are without "plausible deniability" at this point.

It's unclear how exactly he and his colleagues plan to hold Republican lawmakers accountable.

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