This morning literally before I got out of bed, I registered for my first lobby day at the Texas Capitol in Austin. I’ll join others from around the state as the Texas legislature considers a bill that would require public school students to use the restroom that aligns with the sex they were assigned at birth, rather than the restroom that aligns with their true gender identity. While I’ve not done this before I know it’s time, time for me to go to Austin.
As I listened to the debate surrounding this bill my resolve strengthened. I used to be reticent about calling or emailing my state legislators. I thought about what their staff members might say or think and whether my effort would make a difference. But despite that trepidation I know I must stand with this group of marginalized students. I’m a United Methodist mother of a gay son and acutely aware of the bullying and physical attacks LGBT students are subject to.
I’m especially concerned that 75% of transgender youth feel unsafe at school, some are punished for wearing clothes consistent with who they are, they are disproportionately attacked, and they attempt suicide at a rate ten times the rate for the overall U. S. population.
As a former public high school teacher I’m thoroughly mindful of the potential challenges trans students face every day at school. I cannot let pass this opportunity to speak up.
United Methodists are taught John Wesley’s “Three Simple Rules.” The Three Simple Rules are: do no harm, do all the good you can, and love God. No matter how hard we may try, sometimes harm is done. It’s simply out of our control.
But we are in complete control of Wesley’s second rule. We can choose to do all the good we can.
And so even if it takes 20 minutes of repeated dialing to get through to a senator’s office, I’m committed to calling. Even if that senator’s staff member asks me a question I didn’t expect, I’m committed to registering my concerns. I will continue to sign petitions and send emails. And even if my visit to Austin for Trans Texan Lobby Day doesn’t result in my representative voting as I think they should, I’m committed to being part of this important effort for safety, equality, and justice for my non-binary and transgender neighbors.
I’m committed to doing all the good I can.
Trans Lobby Day is Monday, March 6th at the Texas Capital.
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