Advocates gathered in front of the state capitol Tuesday to speak out against the legislation. Perhaps the youngest advocate, 8-year-old Cecelia Gonzales spoke out on behalf of her 11-year-old transgender sister.
"My siblings and I are really worried that our state is going to pass bills that hurt us…" she added, "...We love living in Texas and don’t have to move, but I know we will have to if [lawmakers] keep trying to hurt us. My sister has lots of friends and family that love and support her but it seems that people making laws don’t understand we are all different in unique ways. But that doesn’t mean we should be treated differently. Stop attacking my sister and my family."
Cecelia’s father, Frank Gonzales says they are tired of traveling to Austin from Dallas for advocacy work. "We are tired of defending the legitimacy of our daughter's existence," he said.
With more than two dozen bills filed this legislative session, Texas has more anti-LGBTQ legislation than any other state according to the Human Rights Campaign.
"These bills are not really rooted in the real world. They’re rooted in fear, they’re rooted in discrimination. They’re rooted in disinformation. Cruelty is not just the byproduct, cruelty is the point." said Alphonso David, president of the Human Rights Campaign.
Bills up for consideration include HB 1399, which could impact a trans-child's ability to receive gender-affirming medical care, as well as SB 1646, which would punish a parent facilitating that care for child abuse.
"These mothers and parents across the country are heroes, not criminals. The only people who should be labeled abusers here are legislators who are trying to hurt trans-kids for political gain," said David.
SB 29, which would impact transgender children's ability to play school sports was voted down by the House Public Education Committee Tuesday.
"If history has taught us anything it's that you can't compromise with hate," said state Rep. James Talarico (D-Round Rock).