The Galileo Church in Fort Worth, Texas, is advocating for LGBTQ+ rights and providing support to those affected by recently passed state legislation prohibiting gender transition procedures for minors. In response, the church established the North Texas TRANS-portation Network (NTTN), an auxiliary ministry offering travel grants to families seeking procedures and treatments for their transgender children.
The church’s website states that the organization is committed to doing justice for LGBTQ+ individuals and supporting those who love them. The church’s lead evangelist, Katie Hays, expressed concern for the emotional wellbeing of transgender youth, saying, “They’re hurt by the rejection of the neighbors; they really feel alone and like Texas does not have their back.”
The NTTN, according to its page, believes that withholding necessary care for trans kids is state-sponsored cruelty. The funds for the NTTN grants, which are entirely used by the applicants, come from private sources. The Pink Times, an LGBT activist blog, noted the $1,000 grant doesn’t require applicants to participate in church activities or follow specific religious beliefs. However, applicants must originate from one of the 19 counties of North Texas.
A study published on September 19, 2022, in the Journal of Sex and Marital Therapy revealed potential risks associated with puberty blockers that NTTN grantees might receive. These include sterilization, bone density depletion, cognitive development hindrance, and emotional distress.
Despite these potential risks, Cynthia Daniels, the executive director of the NTTN, argued that the initiative is about being a good neighbor to those denied healthcare access. She said, “I’m a mother, I have three kids so and I have always been able to get the health care for my kids that they desperately needed. So to me it’s just being a good neighbor to a group of people who have been selected to not be able to receive their health care, and to me that’s devastating.”
The Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), the denomination Galileo Church belongs to, has shown strong support for LGBT activism. In May, it issued a joint pastoral letter condemning laws across the nation that prevent children from receiving gender-affirming medical interventions. The letter stated, “Trans youth and their families deserve the human dignity to seek medical care and build lives of joy and thriving.”