With most Democratic state House members still in DC and no new updates in the legislature or with the Governor’s office, LGBTQ+ advocates watch and wait for what comes next. 17 anti-LGBTQ+ bills, the majority of them targeting transgender kids, sit stalled in the state legislature without a quorum.
With one week left in this special session it’s highly unlikely that the bills themselves will move, but the Governor has already stated that there will be another special session starting as soon as August 8th.
Learn how to help us prepare for the next round. Join our Rapid Response Team to get updates on how to get involved.
The presence of so many anti-LGBTQ+ bills in the special session represents the constant threat of attack that transgender youth, their parents, and LGBTQ+ Texans as a whole have been forced to bear since the first anti-transgender youth bill was filed nine months ago.
On top of the legislative threat, last week we shared that Governor Abbott publicly announced the existence of a plan to ban life-saving, best-practice medical care for transgender youth without going through the legislature. It’s been almost two weeks since the announcement with no further details or explanation, leaving families with transgender youth in an excruciating limbo.
This limbo, directly related to the anti-LGBTQ rhetoric we have been subjected to for months, impacts our overall feeling of safety and quality of life. The legislative attacks that have been lobbed at our community are far more than words on a page, they’re existential threats that create a climate in Texas that produces a state of constant fear. That sustained fear and anxiety takes a tremendous toll on people’s lives.
While there have been promising victories in the courts (see last week’s update) that reiterate truth and justice are on our side, the debate around the dignity and humanity of transgender lives itself causes harm. With this uniquely elongated legislative season, families and community members are living in a constant state of direct threat.
These legislative “debates” seep into our mainstream culture and day-to-day lives, where we’ve seen a direct line from legislators presenting transgender people as “dangerous” in order to push anti-trans bills to increased anti-trans bullying in school, a spike in calls to trans-focused crisis lines, and families protecting their own mental and emotional health by leaving the state they call home.
Even in a week with no major movement, the community is feeling the strain. One of our main objectives during this period of uncertainty is to mobilize new faces to help join the fight and take the burden off those who have been fighting for so long now.
The LGBTQ+ community in Texas is resilient. We’re resilient because of the way we band together to oppose hate that can sometimes feel relentless. We come together because we know that an attack on any of us represents an attack on all, and that no one should have to bear the full brunt of the Texas legislature alone. These issues aren’t going away, and we need your help as we prepare for the next round.
Join us virtually or in person tomorrow, July 31 from 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM for a special session training about how to plug in and a deep dive into how to testify. Register here to attend.
There is still time to join our Rapid Response Team. If you are in Waco, San Antonio, Houston, Corpus Christi, Amarillo, Dallas, or the Valley, please sign up as we may have opportunities to bus individuals to the Capitol during future special sessions.