Houstonians celebrating Pride month aim to draw attention to anti-transgender legislation

Pride month married by anti-gender legislation

HOUSTON – June helps mark the celebration of Pride Month, which some LGBTQ+ advocates said looks and feels different this year.

Groups such as Equality Texas said that’s partly because of a number of legislative bills introduced in 30 states — including Texas — that impact transgender rights.

“As much acceptance as we’ve made over the years, what we’ve really seen is every time we make a little bit of progress, our opponents are going to double up on spreading lies and misinformation and targeting the most vulnerable of us,” said Brad Pritchett, Field Director of Equality Texas.

Florida’s Governor Ron DeSantis signed a bill targeting transgender athletes on the first day of Pride month. A similar bill did not become law in Texas, neither did a bill that would make it illegal for children under the age of 18 to undergo medical care.

Mother of three, Mandy Giles, said this legislative session made her feel as though her family was not wanted in Texas. Two of Giles’ children are transgender.

“One of those children received gender-affirming medical care just before when they turned 18,” Giles said. “So, this was all pretty personal for our family.”

Giles’ child Indigo is 19 now, but it doesn’t stop Giles from thinking what if.

“I would have been convicted and accused of child abuse and my children could have been taken away from me. Just devastating to think of for any family,” Giles said.

Pritchett said even though those bills didn’t become law in Texas, the damage to transgender children has already been done.

“What we needed in that session was more allies from corporations and sports leagues, who will have pride celebrations this month,” Pritchett said. “Who will absolutely put a rainbow flag on merchandise and tell you they are supportive of our community.”