1,000 signatures reached
To: FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology)
Ask FIRST to Support Trangender Youth in Texas
Everybody deserves to feel safe and supported in their community. But transgender youth in Texas are under attack from people like Governor Abbott, who believes that providing gender-affirming health care is "child abuse".
FIRST robotics policies support all youth, especially underrepresented, underserved and vulnerable populations such as LGBTQ+ youth. But FIRST is also hosting their World Championship in Houston, Texas this year.
LGBTQ+ and many other youth are worried about attending this event, fearing they they or their team mates will be targeted or badly treated in Texas. Mentors or teachers may worry that they will be asked to report on their own students while in Texas.
As a member of a FIRST robotics team or a supporter of FIRST robotics, we call on FIRST to take two actions:
1 - From the stage in Houston, read a statement in support of all underserved, underrepresented and vulnerable populations in FIRST, specifically including transgender youth. Affirm that Gracious Professionalism holds every FIRST participant to watch out for our LGBTQ+ members, supporting them to be full members of our community, and leaving their health care in the hands of their doctors and parents.
2 - Refrain from signing any new contracts for World Championship in Houston unless the Governors executive action in reference to transgender youth and their families is rescinded or struck down by the courts. Ensure that Governor Abbott is aware of FIRST’s plans in this regard.
With inclusion, teamwork, and gracious professionalism,
The FIRST community and allies
Why is this important?
The FIRST robotics programs have long been a safe haven for students who don't fit anywhere else. They also seek to deliberately increase the diversity in the STEM workforce, believing that more voices lead to better and stronger technical solutions.
This is a moment for FIRST to stand behind their Youth Protection Program and their Diversity and Inclusion policies to ensure that transgender youth in Texas or visiting Texas feel safe to participate in this valuable program.