TransGriot Note: This is an op-ed from Josephine Tittsworth, the founding executive director of the Texas Transgender Nondiscrimination Summit.
As a natural born Texan, I find it very difficult to understand how people can condone discrimination. Texas was founded on freedom not discrimination. The Whites, Blacks, and Hispanics all fought together to gain freedom from tyranny. At this time in our great history slavery was outlawed by the Mexican government yet that very government persecuted the pioneers who came to seek their fortunes, family security, and a place in history. William Travis came to Texas from Alabama where he fled from debts and his wife. James Bowie came to Texas to further his fraudulent land deals and gain wealth in land grants. David Crockett came to Texas to get away from the outrageous politics in the United States. These three men are embedded into our history as great men. These were the undesirables from the United States yet they understood the importance of Freedom. As a Texan we are deeply influenced by these three men. They sacrificed their lives so that we could live as respected humans. We all remember the phrase “Remember the Alamo.”
Today too many politicians are garnering forces to create a society of hate through discrimination. Enlightened people in Texas have made great advances to ensure Texans a safe and respectful future. Current legislative efforts to curtail freedom through discriminatory laws are an insult to the history of our great State of Texas. Instead of working towards freedom and respect for all Texans our political leaders are openly defying the dignity of a select minority group; Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals, Transgenders, Intersex people, and our Allies. We as citizens of this great state need to make our voices heard loud and clear. Stop the hate and endorse love should be our anthem for freedom under these circumstances.
We can find common ground to work through our differences. No matter how impossible everything may seem to be when faced with an impenetrable barrier of religious beliefs, personal commitments, freedoms, class status, socioeconomic status, or family standards we can overcome our differences. That barrier, regardless of its basis, can be torn down just as the Berlin Wall was torn down after decades of righteous social justice attacks against inhuman rights. We as Texans are strong and willing to claim our rights to freedom and justice. We are a very proud people, justly earned.
Our legislative session in Texas begins in January 2017. Legislators have submitted numerous bills to curtail the rights of Texans. Even though only minorities are primarily impacted directly with discriminatory legislation, eventually all Texans will carry the burden of wrongly persecuting small groups of people for personal prejudices and discrimination. We encourage all people to step forward and let your voices for social justice be heard loudly and clearly. Today we fight for “Freedom Cause” against myths, stereotyping, misinformation, unfounded propaganda, and any form of injustice that hurts our neighbors and neighborhoods. The Texas Transgender Nondiscrimination Summit (501c3) stands for justice along with the National Association of Social Workers Texas Chapter and Equality Texas.
Josephine P. Tittsworth, ABD, LMSW, BSW, AA
P. O. Box 1095
Baytown, Texas 77522-1095