Last Thursday after more than 11 hours of debate, the Texas House voted to advance HB 25, the anti-transgender sports ban. Yesterday, the Texas Senate followed suit, passing the bill with slight changes the House now needs to approve. My heart broke into pieces as we watched the last two days unfold.
My heart is broken for trans kids across Texas who have had to watch and listen to prolonged debates about their humanity and right to be included in normal school activities. My heart is broken for trans adults who will continue to face discrimination and violence in Texas by individuals emboldened by the vitriolic modeled behavior of some legislators. My heart is broken for the parents who courageously showed up time and time again to the capitol in fierce support of their innocent children. My heart is broken for the kids who will be too afraid to love themselves and live authentically because they have internalized the words of extremist politicians and as a result will not discover their magnificence. Lastly, my heart is broken for community advocates and partners whose reality became working 14 hour days to protect trans kids. And although my heart was broken Thursday night it is not beyond repair.
We did our very best during the House debate and have put up a valiant fight for the last 10 months. I truly believe that if we want the best of what the world has to offer we have to offer the world our best, and we have done that time and time again. Thank you so much for every single effort you have put into this fight. I’m so grateful and proud of everyone who have joined us on the frontlines, our community partners who have given so much of themselves to bravely lead during unprecedented and difficult times, our allied lawmakers who put up a brave fight, and all Equality Texans who understand the importance of living a life marked by authenticity, diversity, uniqueness, and the richness it brings to our communities. Hope is never lost. Even during setbacks — there is still good in the world.
You may not be able to see it now but we are planting seeds, inspiring new leaders who will emerge as a result of our collective strength, perseverance, tenacity, kindness, and bravery in the face of hate and opposition. Your presence and efforts remind me of the Texas my grandmother used to speak so lovingly about. You are my source of strength and motivation when times get tough. We will never give up our fight for the rights of trans people. Better days are coming.
WHAT IS NEXT:
During the House floor debate, known anti-transgender lawmaker Representative Bryan Slaton added an amendment opening the door up to physical exams of children, forcing them to “prove” their gender in order to play sports with their friends. Yesterday, the Senate took out this harmful language before passing the bill.
Because the Senate changed the House version, the next step is for the House to approve the change. This is a quick up-or-down vote without the opportunity for more amendments or lengthy speeches. We anticipate that the House will accept the removal of the Slaton language today and vote to move the bill to the Governor’s desk for his signature, the final step in the legislative process.
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