Texas Pride

by | Jun 8, 2023 | LGBTQ Rights, News, Texas Elections, Texas Legislature

The purpose and meaning of Pride Month for LGBTQ Texans.

Legislatively and politically speaking, this has been a brutal year for LGBTQ Texans. 

According to the Human Rights Campaign, across the country this year, more than 500 anti-LGBTQ+ bills were introduced, and one state alone accounted for more than 20% of those bills: Texas. In Texas, multiple anti-LGBTQ bills were passed, including measures that would ban healthcare for transgender minors and prohibit transgender athletes from participating in college athletics. 

The cause? A changing national landscape and an extreme right wing Speaker of the Texas House. During the anti-transgender bathroom bill session of 2017, Dan Patrick, the Texas Lt. Governor, stood out for his unique and unmatched animus for LGBTQ Texans. 

That was then and this is now.

Despite receiving support from LGBTQ caucus members, Texas Speaker Dade Phelan has moved the state, and LGBTQ politics, increasingly rightward. Governor Greg Abbott, while playing up the moderate card privately, has pretty much been in line with disgraced (and impeached) Attorney General Ken Paxton when it comes to investigating the loving families of trans kids.

The business community, a key ally in stopping the 2017 bathroom bill, has seemingly halted being present at the Capitol on any issue that impacts their employees, instead opting for more Republican friendly policies like local preemption. AT&T, American Airlines, United Airlines, and others claim to be LGBTQ allies but have been missing in action when Texans needed them the most.

Texas Diversity, Strength, and Janelle Monáe

With that backdrop, it’s easy to see the Republican end-game here. Deflate the morale of your opponents, make folks think that Texas is more Republican than it really is, and elections are going to be cheaper to win.

However, we at Signal know that Texans don’t back down from a fight that easy. Beyond the terrible headlines, Texas boasts one of the largest, most diverse, LGBTQ communities in the country. Texas boasts more pride events than most other states and it’s for good reason. Houston Pride is the largest pride in the entire southwest. We also have beautiful families who have become amazing advocates with homegrown groups like the Transgender Education Network of Texas and Equality Texas.

And our community has overcome marginalization and oppression before. Pride began as a protest, and still is, but it has also grown as a celebration of self discovery and love. We are living in the time of Janelle Monáe, the Age of Pleasure, and queer validation unlike any other. So, folks, it’s time to allow for some joy, celebrate, and be with community this June. Come July, it’s back to the work of making this a better state again. 

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