These are testimonies provided by RGV Trans Support. They are being read on Tuesday, March 7 at the Texas Capitol to testify agasint SB6. Some have been edited for length and clarity.
1. Tristan Reyna, 8 years old, trans girl
“My name is Tristan Reyna. I am a transgender MTF. I’m a happy transgender. I have to use the teacher bathroom or nurse bathroom because the parents of girls don’t want me there and the parents of boys also don’t want me with the boys. Please do not support SB6 because that will make it difficult for me to use the bathroom and being myself.”
“I am a sister, aunt, daughter, church member, and a mentor. I am part of my community and love my community as an extended family. I am genderqueer and have never felt I was this person that everyone recognizes as a girl. But I knew that I didn’t want to be a boy either. I just always wanted to be a blend of existence called “me” and be loved for it.
My short hair cuts and candid humor and lack of fear have always been attributed to maleness. My love of eye makeup was the only thing that classified me as female. The proposed bill makes me hear that my looks and demeanor will have to conform to some lie so that I can have safety regardless of my gender. My parents always told me not to lie.
We’re advised in our constitution that we all have the right to pursue freedom and happiness. How will SB6 make that possible? As a child, I was told I wanted to be a boy but I’m a beautifully blurred mixture that shouldn’t be discriminated against for existing. I told my mother when I was eight but I was told I had penis envy. I envy none. I want to live a life so free and happy that other folks envy me.”
3. Idania Gonzalez
“My name is Idania Gonzalez, born and raised in Texas. I’ve never really thought of myself as being part of a community, but I’ve always noticed something different in me. I’ve always felt interested in people not by their sex but by who they are. It wasn’t until I met someone that told me I probably am pansexual. But not only that, but having to fit with my culture and family, and more than anything, opening up to my family has been, I would say, the scariest.
More than anything, the religious side has been the hardest. Not really opening up how I feel, but giving my opinion about it. I have one friend who is married to a transgender man. I don’t know him personally, but I would hate to see him having a hard time for simply wanting to use the restroom.”
“My name is Elizabeth and the most important value for me is love which generates respect. I am the grandmother of a beautiful transgender MTF. After she told us she was a girl, we started adjusting from clothes to possessive pronouns.
The school has been somewhat supportive by providing her with neutral bathrooms. However, if this bill passes, it will make it impossible or her to have normal elementary years.
Please do not pass SB6 because it will form a world for my granddaughter full of obstacles and rejections instead of raising a happy and healthy woman. She will become resentful and fearfulul. Please, all she wants is to the bathroom as a physiological need and a right that every human shall have. Do not exclude my granddaughter.”
“I’m Victoria, and I am a MTF transgender person. What is important to me is to stay safe no matter where I am and that I am able to be in a society like everyone else because I am like everyone else. I’m just trying to live my life the best I can.
The hardest obstacle in my life being transgender has been a mixture of family and sometimes religion, especially when I was younger. I have struggles to feel like myself as well as trying to find my place in the world. Yet I am afraid due to the coming laws regarding trans folk.
It took me a long time to be comfortable with myself. But one day I just said that I’ve wasted a lot of my life on being afraid but now I can go out with the privilege of not being afraid. I want people like me to not live in fear and be allowed to be ourselves because everyone deserves a chance.