A lot has happened since the Texas legislature’s costly special session opened on Tuesday. A group of badass teenagers held a quinceañera protest at the capitol opposing SB4, a hateful show-your-papers law that would target immigrants and put countless people of color in the state in danger. A charming Senator named Lois Kolkhorst, responsible for SB6 in the regular session, introduced not one but two (identical) new bills, SB3 and SB91, to criminalize transgender people using the bathroom. And the trans community showed up in force Friday morning to testify and rally as SB3 and SB91 came before the Senate.
I was among the crowds testifying about the devastation these two cruel bills would cause to transgender people, to families, and to the state as a whole. The bills would require a birth certificate to enter the bathroom, take power away from towns and cities to protect trans people in their communities, and would single out transgender students for exclusion and harassment. Testimony began at 9AM, continues even now at 6PM, and the advocates here are in it for the long haul. I’m inspired and humbled by all of the passionate Texans showing up to speak out.
If you live in Texas, you can support efforts on the ground by using this tool to contact your legislators and telling them to oppose SB3 and SB91, and roll back the xenophobic SB4 from the regular session. And no matter where you live, you can also help us spread the word about #HereToSlay, our August 4th event for LGBTQ people of color to take over the Texas Capitol. We’re partnering with Familia:TQLM and Aquí Estamos RGV to send the message that we are resilient, we are here for each other, and we will resist these attacks on our trans, immigrant, and people of color communities together.
This post, by TLC Policy Coordinator Corinne Green, is part of our Policy Desk series. Corinne and Shelby Chestnut, TLC’s National Organizing and Policy Strategist, are on the ground this week in Austin as the Texas legislature kicks off its special session.