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Texas attorney general sought to round up list of all the transgender people in the state

By Matthew Chapman,


Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton (Sarah Silbiger for The Washington Post via Getty Images)

On Wednesday, The Washington Post reported that officials working for Texas Republican Attorney General Ken Paxton tried to get employees at the Texas Department of Public Safety to compile them a list of transgender people in Texas, by cross-referencing the people who had changed their sex on their driver's license.

"'Need total number of changes from male to female and female to male for the last 24 months, broken down by month,' the chief of the DPS's driver license division emailed colleagues in the department on June 30, according to a copy of a message obtained by The Washington Post through a public records request," reported Molly Hennessy-Fiske. "'We won't need DL/ID numbers at first but may need to have them later if we are required to manually look up documents.' After more than 16,000 such instances were identified, DPS officials determined that a manual search would be needed to determine the reason for the changes, DPS spokesman Travis Considine told The Post in response to questions."

"A verbal request was received," Considine wrote in an email. "Ultimately, our team advised the AG's office the data requested neither exists nor could be accurately produced. Thus, no data of any kind was provided." He added that he "cannot say" why the office wanted this information — although advocates fear he would have used this data to track down and restrict people's right to transition.

This comes after a year of attacks on LGBTQ rights led by Gov. Greg Abbott and Republicans in the Texas legislature.

"In October 2021, Abbott signed a bill banning transgender youths from participating in sports that align with their gender identity at K-12 public schools; this year he ordered the state to investigate the provision of gender-affirming care as potential child abuse," said the report. "State lawmakers have already proposed more than a dozen anti-LGBTQ measures ahead of the next session in January, including criminalizing gender-affirming care and banning minors at drag shows."

In April, the Texas Tribune reported that child protective workers were resigning in droves, faced with the prospect of a policy that could mandate the confiscation of transgender youth from their parents.

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