It was a long day and a late night for all of us justice loving people who were there from across the state of Texas to register our opposition to the unjust HB 2899.
Registration didn’t start for oral testimony until 10 AM, but when it did I was one of the first peeps at the computer set up in our hospitality room to sign up to have my say. I was surprised because my name got called a little early in the evening to testify, but once again, being in Austin for the last few days thanks to a major assist from my BTAC fam in Maddox and Rebecca Jackson made that possible.
There were 389 people who registered to testify on HB 2899. Of that number, the overwhelming majority of us were in opposition to its passage with only 18 people for it and 2 neutral.
And after a day that started for many of us a 7 AM CDT, the hearing finally got cranked up at 11:45 PM and went on until 4:40 AM.
This committee was more diverse than the Senate one that couldn’t hide their disdain for us a few weeks ago when we Texas trans folks, Mama and Papa Bears and our allies once again bumrushed our state capitol to express our opposition to the unjust SB 2899.
House State Affair Chair Rep. Byron Cook (R) was making sure that he ran the proceedings in an evenhanded and fair manner.
n between the time I was at the Capitol talking to numerous people, getting my lunchtime Slurpee and wings and contemplating how and what I would say to the committee, I was getting do something I don’t get a chance to do back home in Houston:. television interviews.
Thanks to Adela Uchida of KEYE-TV (the local CBS outlet) and KXAN-TV along with interviews in the Texas Observer and another local media print outlet, I was getting the message out there that this bill deserved to die and discrimination aimed at any Texan is unacceptable.
By the time I finally stepped to the podium somewhere around 12:55 AM, an Anna Julia Cooper quote was echoing in my head before I took a deep breath and handled my human rights business on behalf of my Black trans community and the orgs that I represent.
What that Cooper quote, you ask?
‘Only the black woman can say ‘when and where I enter, in the quiet, undisputed dignity of my womanhood, without violence and without suing or special patronage, then and there the whole Negro race enters with me’
I got to crash a little after 3 AM because they called my name early, but I went to sleep knowing there were more than 50+ people still waiting to testify and those folks waiting to speak their minds to the committee were overwhelmingly going to be doing so in opposition to the bill.
And once again, I got to rep my Texas and hometown Black trans community.
As for what happened when the testimony concluded, the committee left the unjust HB 2899 pending, which means they can either call it to a vote or just sit on it until May 29.
How about y’all just kill the unjust bill and call it a day?