Today is Trans Day of Visibility, a day to celebrate the transgender community while drawing attention to discrimination and attacks faced by trans and nonbinary people worldwide.
Yet here in Texas, ground zero for the war on transgender rights, it is tough to be celebratory. Every day, the Texas Legislature seems to ratchet up its attacks even more. During the 2023 Texas Legislative session, 140 anti-LGBTQ+ bills have been filed, nearly double that of the session two years prior. If they were to become law, these bills would have devastating consequences for the trans community. They seek to restrict access to gender-affirming healthcare, ban trans athletes from sports, prevent trans youth from updating their gender on government documents, and even ban classroom lessons that include information about gender identity. Trans people have a right to lead safe, healthy lives and to be treated with dignity. These bills not only affect quality of life but can also directly put lives at risk.
This mirrors the attack on LGBTQ+ rights and, frankly, all our fundamental rights and freedoms that have been threatened in Florida and across the country. They’re banning books, stripping away our voting rights, and taking over our school districts. They’ve taken away the right to abortion access, and now they’re after gender-affirming care.
But there is reason to be hopeful. Thousands of people showed up to testify about the ban on gender-affirming care in the Texas Legislature, and nearly 96% of those were speaking against this harmful legislation. Since the session began, we’ve seen a constant flood of activists from across Texas standing up for transgender rights and the rights of all people. I know that regardless of what happens, Texans will continue to fight back, and in the words of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., the moral arch of the universe will bend toward justice. But it’s on us to bend it.
Here in Harris County, we will continue to fight for the rights of trans people and all our LGBTQ+ friends and neighbors. Together, we can fight against hate and discrimination and work toward a more just and equitable world.