Since 2014, Createscape Coworking has always been a space for creative, innovative, and artistic professionals in Austin, Texas and its ingrained in our values to be supportive of our diverse members and community. We stand as one of over 300 small local businesses that signed a pledge in October 2016 that Texas must stay open for business to everyone. We believe that the proposed Senate Bill 6, the “bathroom bill,” in front of the Texas legislature as of Tuesday, March 7 is wrong for so many reasons, and we stand in firm opposition to it.
Transgender Texans, like all Texans, need to use public restrooms and other gender-segregated spaces without fear for their safety or security. SB 6 undermines that need by nullifying present ordinances and forbidding future ordinances that provide transgender nondiscrimination protections in bathrooms; forbidding schools to allow transgender students to use multi-stall restrooms if the facilities don’t match their birth certificates; forcing state agencies to develop anti-transgender bathroom policies for buildings in their possession; and penalizing schools that don’t comply with the bill, forcing them to cough up thousands of dollars in fines. It additionally mandates that all crimes committed in bathrooms or changing facilities be raised by one degree, moving the focus from the severity of a crime to the location of it. This legislation is an attack on transgender Texans and those that would support them, under the guise of “protecting women.”
The following are also true, data compiled by Equality Texas:
- 85% of transgender Texans have experienced harassment because of their gender identity or expression, 46% have experienced physical assault.
- 47% of transgender Texans have been verbally harassed or disrespected in a place of public accommodation.
- In the past year, 69% of transgender Texans avoided using a public restroom because they were afraid of confrontations or other problems they might experience. 36% limited the amount that they ate or drank to avoid using the restroom.
- 19 states and more than 200 cities across the U.S. have passed and successfully implemented public accommodation laws, none have experienced an increase in public safety incidents.
- San Antonio (2013), Dallas (2002), Austin (2004), Fort Worth (2009), El Paso (2011), and Plano (2014) all have ordinances that allow everyone to use the restroom appropriate to their gender. All with no increase in public safety incidents.
- HB2, similar to SB6, is wreaking havoc on North Carolina’s economy. The NCAA has threatened to deny North Carolina the chance to host any of 133 NCAA events over the next 6 years if the legislature does not repeal HB2.
Singers and other artists including Lady Gaga, Cyndi Lauper and Alicia Keys have signed onto an open letter asking Texas lawmakers to stand down from passing Senate Bill 6 and other anti-LGBT legislation under consideration by the state Legislature. The letter was also signed by actors including Jennifer Lawrence, Emma Stone, Jimmy Kimmel, Ewan McGregor, George Takei and Amy Poehler.
“Please know that the creative community is watching Texas, with love for all of its people and for its contributions to music, art and culture,” the letter reads. “We are deeply troubled by the current legislation that would target the LGBTQ community in Texas.”
Createscape stand along many other Texas businesses in calling on the Texas Legislature to reject SB6. It is a shameful, morally wrong, and discriminatory bill meant to marginalize and hurt transgender people, in addition to creating a new headache for Texans and small businesses alike. Check out other resources for taking action over at Equality Texas.
Image of Texans at the state capital building, Tuesday March 7, courtesy of Progress Texas.