Dallas, TX – On Saturday, April 1, over 50 members of the LGBTQ community and their allies gathered at Dallas City Hall to protest transphobic and anti-drag legislation currently being passed by the Texas state government. Four of those bills are Senate Bill 14 which takes away trans youth’s right to transition; Senate Bill 15, which bans trans athletes from participating in college sports, and Senate Bills 12 and 1601, which greatly restrict the freedom to perform in drag.
The rally called for the city of Dallas to refuse to prosecute anyone for these anti-LGBTQ laws.
The rally was called by the Freedom Road Socialist Organization, and emcee Jo Hargis of FRSO-Dallas, gave a speech mentioning the extreme unpopularity of the transphobic bills and condemned the transphobic justification of “trying to protect children.”
“During public comment for SB 14, 97% of the people who came to comment did not support the bill taking away trans children’s right to healthcare. Texans don’t want these bills. Our legislature is wasting our time bringing in people from out of state to push junk science to prop up garbage laws. We need to come together to reject these bills because once they’re done with our community, they’ll be coming for yours,” stated Hargis, adding, “If Texas wanted to protect children, they would fund CPS and ban child marriage.”
Cassandra Swart, a local trans activist, gave a speech denouncing the queerphobic bills as well as condemning the far-right’s scapegoating of the trans community in the aftermath of the March 27 school shooting in Nashville, Tennessee. Swart also noted that the far-right’s attacks on oppressed people’s rights will not end with trans rights, noting that all LGBTQ rights and democratic rights for African-Americans are next on the far-right’s chopping block.
“We also must acknowledge that trans rights aren’t the only rights at stake in this fight. When they are done getting rid of any right for trans people to exist, they will come for gay rights, they will come for lesbian rights, they will come for civil rights for African-Americans. They’ve already started coming after reproductive rights with the overturn of Roe v. Wade. We are all in this fight together!” Swart declared.
Xavi Velasquez of local immigrant rights group Los Frontera Los Cruzo gave a speech criticizing American right-wing Christianity and called for an end to the influence of the Christian Right over politics.
“For widely supporting homophobic, anti-trans legislation and supporting the states control of what we can and can’t do with our bodies, let the christofascist church be dismantled brick by brick,” stated Velasquez.
After the speeches, protesters marched around downtown Dallas and then back to Dallas City Hall. Chants included, “Gay! Trans! Black! White! Same struggle! Same fight!” and “It’s our history don’t deny it! Stonewall was a trans riot!” Protesters also sang a spoof Deep in the Heart of Texas that called for LGBTQ rights.