Post submitted by HRC Team Texas field organizer Criss Ruiz

After the Texas Senate sent the anti-LGBTQ SB3 to the House, I knew we were still in the fight. Little did I know that in less than 24 hours President Trump would put a target on the backs of transgender people in the military. Our efforts at the Texas Capitol are bigger than just us and this Texas community. The stakes have grown higher than ever as this local fight has taken shape in the national spotlight. Transgender people are fighting for the right to survive in public spaces everywhere.

For the past two days, I along with other HRC Texas field organizers and coalition partners, have been at the Texas Capitol standing with transgender Texans. I was tasked with visiting the offices of State Representatives to hand them letters reminding them how SB3 and other anti-LGBTQ bills such as HB46 and HB 50 will hurt not only businesses and institutions in the state of Texas, but most importantly, the daily lives of individuals and children. We cannot compromise on discrimination.

HRC motivated me to move from Florida to Texas to continue advocating for equality, work I had begun during my youth when I was taught to treat everyone with kindness. I continued that work into my early adulthood in Orlando where we built a grassroots community and endured heartbreaking tragedy after the horrific shooting at Pulse nightclub.

From this heartbreak, I vowed to fight for equality wherever life would take me - from the front of a presidential campaign to the midst of the Texas heat. I truly believe that every person should enjoy the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Every individual has a human right to love and to live a safe existence. I believe - as organizers and coalitions partners - we fully understand what we are up against. That won't stop us. We will not back down. We won't stop working for what we believe in, for what's right. . .not today. . .not ever.


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