Students across Texas are voicing their grave concerns about Senate Bill 6 (SB6), a bill threatening harm to transgender people across the Lone Star State. Join the movement today at glaad.org/texas.
SB6, which is similar to the widely-covered HB2 in North Carolina, bans local governments from enacting nondiscrimination ordinances that protect transgender people, or from requiring companies with city contracts from having similar protections. It also restricts restroom and locker room access for transgender people in government buildings, public schools and universities.
GLAAD met with students on the ground at the University of Texas at Austin to discuss how the anti-transgender animus behind SB6 impacts their well-being as students, LGBTQ community members, or allies to their trans peers. The students also shared ways in which they are rallying support for those most targeted by SB6, like encouraging allies to safely accompany trans students to public facilities.
“The possibility of having someone draw a gun on me because they think I’m in the wrong bathroom is really terrifying,” said Tahlia G., an undergraduate student at UT – Austin, referring to a a recent law allowing concealed handguns to be carried on her campus and at other public universities in the state. She added later, “We’ve had beach balloons thrown at queer people…[at] black people and other people of color.”
Thatcher Combs, a graduate student at the university noted that SB6 and bills like it can limit trans students’ opportunities to thrive on campus. “How do you expect somebody to be successful in anything when anywhere they go, they feel like they have a target on their back or their feel completely unwelcome?”
“As a gay man, it’s important for me to advocate because there wouldn’t be gay rights if it wasn’t for trans women,” said Tony Hernandez, noting the invaluable role that some of the most marginalized members of the LGBTQ community have played in the movement for full equality.
Check out the video here:
Earlier this year, GLAAD teamed up with Equality Texas, The Ally Coalition, and more than 160 leading artists, entertainers, and influencers to release an open letter opposing bills, including SB6, threatening harm to LGBTQ Texans. The letter demonstrated widespread disapproval for dangerous legislation.
@kiminoa_seattle FYI sb6 has not become law. It passed the Texas senate. Still would need to pass the house and be signed by gov.
— jessicashortall (@jessicashortall) March 20, 2017
This anti-trans bill in Arkansas just passed the House. It goes to the Senate. SB6 in Texas has passed the Senate. Bills moving elsewhere. https://t.co/XPgXjvIqql
— Chase Strangio (@chasestrangio) March 17, 2017
— GLAAD (@glaad) March 15, 2017
SB6 sends a clear and hateful message to all LGBTQ people, especially transgender and gender non-conforming Texans directly targeted by this bill who feel unsafe at home and school. The Texas Senate has voted to pass SB6, which is now with the Texas House of Representatives. There is still time to stand against hate and support transgender Texans.
- Visit glaad.org/texas to sign & share GLAAD’s petition against SB6 and more than 10 anti-LGBTQ “license to discriminate” bills
- Share the above video to amplify how SB6 is harmful Texas students
- Check out GLAAD’s Southern Stories: A Guide for Reporting on LGBT People In Texas to learn more