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It’s nearing midnight. The team and I should be in bed as we have an eleven-hour drive to Santa Fe from Austin, TX tomorrow but we are reeling from the fact that the Texas Senate has passed its versions of an anti-trans bathroom bill (SB3 and SB91).  As a Carolina boy who transitioned in North Carolina, and as someone who was an LGBT activist in NC, I can’t imagine why the senate house passed this terrible legislation with all of those who spoke out against it today

  "We're fighting as hard as we possibly can so you don't have to go through the things we did." —New Hope TX Mayor Jess Herbst [via GLAAD]

"We're fighting as hard as we possibly can so you don't have to go through the things we did." —New Hope TX Mayor Jess Herbst [via GLAAD]

Jonah and I were talking today and they said, “If they pass this bill with as many of the people who showed up and spoke out against it, they are just monsters. You can’t stop a monster all you can do then is protect yourself from it, try to unite and defeat it.”

Sahleem brought up that all these laws created against trans folks affect the most marginalized of the most marginalized the most.  He said, “When laws like this are passed they impact trans women of color even more. They are already targeted. The bulls eye is directly put on their backs, and we got to remember it. It is a continual fight and only adds layers to what is already an intense struggle and one in which people lose their lives.”

With the devastation that HB2 caused NC, fiscally, emotionally, and reputation-wise and the repercussions it will have on people's lives passing this bill makes no sense. 

These bathroom bills are solely designed to terrorize trans people and to attempt to shame those who transition at an early age. Plain and simple. This is because the “using the restroom that aligns with one’s sex on their original birth certificate” concept is bullshit. Why is this bullshit?  Well, because of me. Because when I go into the men’s room nobody bats an eye. Nobody would ask to see my birth certificate and if they did they would see that it says male and I highly doubt anyone is going to call the state of NJ and get the details on my gender assigned at birth. Honestly those most impacted by these bills won’t always be trans people, but those who don’t “pass” and may not even be trans... just LGB or androgynous and straight!

  "Trans youth need the respect and equality that is afforded to all other youth and if we don't give that to them we are limiting their ability to grow and thrive in our society. All of our youth are our future! Thank you for what y'all do!"       —John Oeffinger

"Trans youth need the respect and equality that is afforded to all other youth and if we don't give that to them we are limiting their ability to grow and thrive in our society. All of our youth are our future! Thank you for what y'all do!"       —John Oeffinger

This bill and all the bills like it are bullshit because they don’t protect women and children. If these legislators are now suddenly feminists who care about the safety of women they would test rape kits, they would believe women when they say they have been raped, they would take children out of abusive household situations, and they would fight to get women an equal wage. Most of all they would not ignore women who say, “PLEASE DON’T USE ME AND MY GENDER AS THE CAUSE OF THIS INJUSTICE.”  They would realize that this bill hurts children. It forces children to go back into the closet and it forces children to be ostracized. Because trans women are women it also hurts them and they who are most definitely targeted. These legislators are archaic and so fragile and so obsessed with genitalia they are willing to harm others and the finances within their own state: over nothing, well over ignorance and hate really.  This may be about many things but it most definitely is not about protecting women.

The team has spent the past week in Texas. Jonah lives here too. I have met some beautiful and amazing trans people and allies. I’ve truly been touched by the community. We attended both the rally against SB3 and the hearing today. We stayed with the Gonzalez family in Dallas and were treated with so much respect and care. I saw them briefly at the capitol today. I watched them speak and felt their energy. I saw people thanking them for being there, standing up, and speaking out…. And I am grateful for cis allies and wonderful parents. But I know they were there for their daughters’ safety mostly which is necessary but I am certain a trying, exhausting, time consuming, and heart breaking event.

  "I just want trans and non binary youth to know that there are many, many Texans who love and support them!"          —Laura Flores [via GLAAD]

"I just want trans and non binary youth to know that there are many, many Texans who love and support them!"          —Laura Flores [via GLAAD]

It was sobering to be in the capitol today. It was creepy to sit in such an oppressive institution and watch people take tours while others waited to testify on their basic human rights. It was eerie to see members of the media pressure and control trans folks and their messages. While I am not a Texan, I am a transgender person. I walked around speaking to people, listened to testimony in favor and in opposition of our lives, I watched trans people cry, and I watched trans people laugh. I continue to watch us walk tall and behave with resiliency and care even under these heinous circumstances. I continue to be astounded by my community and our allies. I continue to see my family expand throughout the country. I don’t know how long I can continue to watch people hurt trans children. This is a joke and we won’t stop. None of us. 

We are going to keep fighting, connecting, and loving one another. Remember that tonight friends, remember to be kind and really, really love one another. They can try and take our dignity and our humanity but they will not poison us and our alliance. 

 Tonight Olivia – Jonah’s roommate and our new friend read our cards. The reading was about our future, and there’s a lot of work to be done - but it’s hopeful.

Tonight Olivia – Jonah’s roommate and our new friend read our cards. The reading was about our future, and there’s a lot of work to be done - but it’s hopeful.

Over the next few days my Texas friends and trans folks around the world:  let it out: scream, cast spells, pray, do yoga, dance, make love, create art, get some crystals, go to the movies, buy some clothes that affirm you, hang out, eat ice cream, get wasted, pull tarot cards, or whatever helps you in dark times. Don’t give up.

It’s not going to get fixed anytime soon, ya’ll.

 However, we’re going to get through this. We are more than bathroom bills and we are magic. We are more than this pain and this hate directed towards us. We are so beautiful.

Texas, thank you. Texas, I’ll miss you. Texas, I love you.

Until next time,

Basil

 

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Basil Soper