AUSTIN (KXAN) — Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick says his number one reason for backing one of the state’s most controversial bills this legislative session is public safety. That is what he told a group of avid listeners at a free forum sponsored by the Texas Tribune in downtown Austin Wednesday morning.
Patrick was referring to Senate Bill B, titled the Texas Privacy Act, which would require people to use the bathroom of their biological sex, effectively banning transgender people from using the restrooms they identify with.
Sierra Davis, a transgender woman, attended the event with her family, and they all came with pressing questions. She and her family are fighting the bill.
“They want me to dress like a boy and live like a boy and use the boy’s restroom and that seriously causes me depression,” said Davis, who has identified as a girl since the age of 6.
“I was forced to be masculine, very, very masculine,” Davis said. “So, when I turned 17 and graduated high school, I thought the most masculine thing I could do was be in the infantry Marines. So, that’s what I did.”
No longer in the Marines, Davis fears she’s more at risk if she were forced to use restrooms with men.
“I’m going to fight for your rights, but you’re going to say that I can’t go pee in peace. I mean, if I go into a man’s restroom looking like this, someone is going to try to harass me,” said Davis, who has one arm covered in a US Marine logo tattoo and the other arm inked with the American flag and the Texas flag.
The lieutenant governor says the bill aims to keep sexual predators from exploiting laws allowing them to get inside restrooms.
“When we introduce men into ladies rooms, we introduce a danger,” Patrick told the crowd. Davis’ family wholeheartedly disagrees.
“Nobody is going to pretend to be trans to go into anybody’s restroom or shower with the girls,” said Davis’ mother Kim Jones. “That’s beyond ridiculous. It’s a serious medical issue.”
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