We wait to see how much harm the House will do to LGBTQ+ people

It’s a very scary time.

Chants of “Protect trans kids” echoed across the Capitol as hundreds of LGBTQ Texans and their supporters gathered Saturday afternoon to express anger and fear over a slate of rapidly moving bills targeting queer people.

The mid-April heat matched the anger many felt toward Republican lawmakers who seek to ban transgender students from playing college sports, queer youth from accessing transition-related health care and other efforts to restrict LGBTQ rights.

“Welcome to the resistance,” Ricardo Martinez, CEO of Equality Texas, an LGBTQ advocacy group that organized the march, said as he implored protesters to do everything in their power to stop the legislation in the final six weeks of the legislative session.

After gathering several blocks north of the Capitol, chanting protesters marched amid drag queens and rainbow flags before rallying on the south steps to hear fiery speeches and offer consolation.

“Right now everyone’s upset, frustrated, speechless,” said Natalie Kennedy, an Austin resident who showed up Saturday to support the queer community.

The Texas Senate has already passed all of Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick’s priority bills focused on LGBTQ people, including legislation that would restrict schools’ role in discussing the existence of LGBTQ people, block transgender kids’ access to gender-affirming care that major medical groups support, ban trans college athletes from joining sports teams that align with their gender identity, and defund public libraries that let drag queens read to children.

The House — which has historically served as an obstacle to legislation that would curb the rights of LGBTQ Texans — has also showed signs of moving quickly on some of these bills.

On Friday, a House committee advanced new versions of House Bill 1686 and Senate Bill 14, which would ban trans youth from accessing puberty blockers or hormone therapy. The bills now require trans youth already receiving those treatments to be weaned off the prescription medication. The bills would also ban surgeries, though they are rarely performed on adolescents.


Medical experts say gender-affirming care is aimed at improving the mental health of trans youth. Transgender children are far more likely to be depressed and attempt suicide than their cisgender peers. A 2015 report by the National Center for Transgender Equality found 40% of the roughly 27,000 transgender people surveyed had attempted suicide — almost nine times the average rate in the country.

Bills that seek to restrict health care and regulate what drag shows can be performed in front of children have been condemned by more than 100 advocacy groups and churches. Democratic chairs of six House caucuses, including the House LGBTQ Caucus, have also denounced the slate of legislation.

I wish I believed that appeals to science, or compassion, or human rights, or decency would have any effect on the Republican-controlled Legislature. I wish I believed that loud advocacy and activism would have any effect on them. I wish I believed that the business lobby still had the inclination and the clout to successfully grind this sort of thing to a halt. I wish I felt hope for these things, but right now what I feel is numb. The bad guys keep winning elections. They have no fear of electoral consequences, except from their seething, nihilist primary voters. I wish I had something better to say than we need to win more elections. I fear for what is coming. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t keep doing what we’re doing now – among other things, it’s the best we can do, and maybe we can begin to convince some voters that the threat is real. I have tremendous respect and empathy for everyone involved in this fight. I just know the days are about to get darker, and we will have more to overcome. Again, I wish I had something better to say.

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9 Responses to We wait to see how much harm the House will do to LGBTQ+ people

  1. Manny says:

    The Fascist Party, aka the Republican Party, threw a lot of shit at the wall, and they found that picking on Trans people resonated with people.

    When the only trick the fascists know is lower taxes on rich people, they must have a message of scaring people of the bogeymen/women party (Democrats).

  2. J says:

    Yep, this nasty GOP strategy is directly out of the fascist/nazi playbook. What I don’t get is the massive silence from the corporate world this time around. Who wants to get transferred to a state that views your fundamental rights and freedoms as something that can be erased in a day if the radical evangelicals don’t approve?

  3. Joel says:

    “What I don’t get is the massive silence from the corporate world this time around. Who wants to get transferred to a state that views your fundamental rights and freedoms as something that can be erased in a day if the radical evangelicals don’t approve?”

    it’s a numbers thing. this is the safest group to pick on.

  4. Flypusher says:

    Also the effect described is something long term, and American businesses are notoriously short sighted.

  5. J says:

    I agree with your comments, but I was also referring in a broader sense to bodily autonomy and privacy, abortion and birth control as well as voting rights along with LGBTQ+ rights. These religious fanatics are getting everything they want when it comes to eliminating the rights of others and then they go for more. When are the powerful going to start pushing back?

  6. mollusk says:

    The powerful will start pushing back when their own particular ox starts getting gored, which in this case is likely never.

  7. J says:

    I agree, but everyone seems to make the assumption that these extreme religion-based policies don’t affect corporations. Let us look at that assumption. The policies affect minorities, LGBQ+ and women. So the only employees *not* affected could be single straight white males. Except they usually have or want girlfriends, who are affected. This means that almost every employee is affected by these religious extremists getting their whims enacted into law.

  8. J says:

    In a horrid, scary development, Missouri now has a form where you can report transgender persons for prosecution by the Attorney General. This is full Nazi shit.


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