July 13, 2017
Texas GOP is Out for Transgender Blood
Blog by Kayla Lozano
When I began my transition process, there were no laws protecting Transgender people.
At the time, there was no Hate Crimes Prevention Act, no repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” no LGBT Youth Summit, no laws granting benefits for same-sex “domestic partnerships,” and certainly no Marriage Equality Act. Nothing.
As a Transgender community, we just tried our best to stay under the radar, either by immersing ourselves at work (hoping nobody would “clock” us), in self-imposed solitude at home, or at the gay bars (naturally, I chose the bars).
The truth is, as Transgender people, we just did our best to blend in. We knew all too well the dangers Transgender people faced. We lived to see many of our own trans sisters and brothers get assaulted and murdered, time after time. For many of us, we lived our lives behind the scenes.
Then the tide started to change.
For once, we were witnessing a time of REAL social change. Regardless of anyone’s opinion of President Barack Obama, the truth remains – he was the FIRST sitting president to EVEN mention the word “transgender.”
President Obama’s administration ushered in most of the pro-trans initiatives we have all come to know and appreciate.
Unfortunately for us, that time has come and gone. Well, at least for some of us.
On Tuesday, July 18, 2017 – Texas Governor, Greg Abbott, will hold a “special session” of the Texas Legislature in Austin, Texas.
Three bills will be introduced and voted on during this “special” session.
Here is the breakdown, according to the website, Equality Texas:
“HB 46 by Rep. Simmons would prohibit all political subdivisions, including municipalities, school districts, and state colleges & universities, from adopting or enforcing any ordinances or policies that protect transgender people in bathrooms or changing facilities.”
“HB 50 by Rep. Simmons is similar to HB 46, but relates only to school districts by prohibiting them from adopting or enforcing policies that protect transgender students in bathrooms or changing facilities”
“SB 23 by Sen. Hall is a statewide preemption bill that would prohibit counties, municipalities, and other political subdivisions from adopting or enforcing laws or ordinances that prohibit discrimination on a basis not protected in state law, and would void all current nondiscrimination ordinances such as those adopted by Fort Worth, Dallas, Austin, San Antonio and Plano.”
(Data from “Equality Texas,” July 11, 2017)
So, what does this mean for us?
Well, it means that we start paying very close attention to what our representatives are doing in Austin, as well as Washington, D.C.
This also means that we CONTACT the legislators that represent us within our given districts. If you are not registered to vote, I STRONGLY recommend that you do so! Otherwise, how else are we going to change the world?
Always remember, that your voice matters! Who you are matters! What you do, MATTERS!
For many of us, this is a difficult time because WE know what it feels like to not have any protections under the law. For many of us, it was every trans man, trans woman, and trans child for themselves! That is why today, we fully understand and appreciate what is at stake now.
This is not to say, nor imply, that Trans millennials lack appreciation for their “freedoms,” I am MERELY saying that it’s just a different type of appreciation. We ALL have different stories, different experiences, and different interpretations.
Whatever is in store for our Transgender communities, I just want everyone to know that we have come so far, and we WILL continue to push forward. We have so much work to do. Please do not idly stand by, and do nothing. Get out there and fight for your rights to exist – just as so many of our inspirational heroes before us!