Meet The Texas Lawmaker Fighting For Queer Youth (And Everyone Else)

And I like to point out that Texas is not Washington. We like each other – we respect each other across party lines. We care for one another. But because of redistricting and the way districts are drawn, my colleagues are more beholden to a March voter than to a November voter. And if we are forced to deal with the issues of transgender politics and who gets to go into whose bathroom, that is a dangerous place to be because – it’s like when you’re in a long-term committed relationship and then you have an argument with your partner, and then you don’t even want to look at them for awhile. I really like my Republican colleagues and they like me, but if we have to have a fight over who gets to go into whose bathroom, it damages that relationship.

And it means that we’re not getting things done around public education or transportation or water quality or air quality ― there’s so many issues that we have to deal with as a state and there’s no one involved with the Texas legislature who is looking forward to January 10 when we gavel in and begin the process.

The good thing about Texas, though, is we meet every two years for 140 days and that’s 140 days to do good and 140 days to do bad ― based on your perspective. But the bad part about that is if we manage to hold off harmful legislation that hurts transgender Texans, that might mean that really good legislation doesn’t occur because either relationships were damaged or we ran out of time. And that’s a painful thing to say because government should be working in productive ways and this might be a purely defensive session where it’s harder to pass legislation than it normally is. Does that make sense?

Yes, it does make sense. I was born and raised in North Carolina and it’s kind of shocking that other states aren’t learning the lessons of how things panned out there when it comes to the basic rights of trans Americans.

Yeah, I mentioned North Carolina because it was hugely embarrassing, I think, to the state of North Carolina and that spotlight is about to come to Texas. And in Texas, right in the middle of the state, is the city of San Antonio and San Antonio relies heavily on tourism and conference business for their local economy. The NCAA is slated to come to San Antonio, and the business community in Texas is very, very very alarmed that this transgender legislation is such a priority. Everyone understands politics ― but we are about to follow in the steps of North Carolina and take on an issue that harms transgender Texans and could harm to Texas economy and our state leadership doesn’t seem to care.

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