Last month, the Texas Senate approved SB6, which would require people to use public bathrooms that align with the gender on their birth certificates. Many are rightfully concerned that Texas's bathroom bill could make it difficult for trans people to use public spaces. If they wanted to use the bathroom, after all, they'd face the choice between a room where others may bully them (or worse) for not appearing to belong or a room where they could get arrested.
In a new video from GLAAD, trans students at the University of Texas at Austin explain how the bill would affect them if it becomes law.
"When you label a certain group as unwanted and you're using a trope of perverted people doing horrible things, you are opening the door to allowing a citizen the right to be violent towards another citizen," grad student Thatcher Combs sums it up perfectly. "And that is the danger that is SB6."
An undergrad named Tahlia G. added, "I'm constantly on guard and constantly worried about my safety."
"It's scary on campus to think that there might be some kind of vigilantes that spring up," said another undergrad named Cal G. "It adds that extra amount of stress knowing that I might have to hold it until I go home, or make sure nobody's in there and then hope that nobody comes in while I'm in there."
These fears are very much founded. According to last year's National Center for Transgender Equality survey, nearly half of trans and non-binary Americans have been victims of verbal harassment during the past year, and nearly one in 10 has been physically assaulted. And a lot of this is happening in bathrooms, where 12 percent experienced verbal harassment, one percent were victims of sexual assault, and another one percent were targeted by physical attacks, Reuters reports. Meanwhile, nobody's ever reported an assault committed by a trans person in a bathroom according to Mic, despite what those behind these bills might have you believe.
Watch the full video below to hear students' powerful words about the bill and the harmful misconceptions it promotes.